Sunday, August 10, 2008

Francie Lin

At's Omnivoracious, Jeff VanderMeer interviewed Francie Lin about her debut novel, The Foreigner.

Their first exchanges: Emerson Chang doesn't strike me as your average fictional narrator. Was it hard to find and keep his voice throughout the novel or did it come naturally?

Francie Lin: The general tone wasn't that hard to find, but it was hard to refine and maintain, definitely. Emerson was originally more pathetic, and he was prone to long, poetic, ruminative passages about death and love. He had no edge at all, which made him kind of tiresome to write. Only after a few revisions did he develop a little more backbone, and then it was fun to play his fastidiousness off the more hardened characters. Did you know you were writing a kind-of mystery novel when you started creating The Foreigner?

Francie Lin: Sort of. Certainly I wanted to, but I'm not that good at thinking up plots, and didn't have the guts to write a mystery at first. But I did want to write something about the little local crime syndicates in Taipei, so I kind of sidled up to the genre under the guise of writing something more "literary."
Read the complete Q & A.

Learn more about The Foreigner at the publisher's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Foreigner.

--Marshal Zeringue