Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nicole Helget

From A Conversation With Nicole Helget at the Midwest Booksellers Association:

Q. Where did you come up with the idea for The Turtle Catcher?

A. My father, the first storyteller I ever knew, told me many stories. The heart of my novel was recollected from a story he once told me about a man with unnatural ways who was run into a swamp by his neighbors and forced to drown himself. I don’t, of course, remember a lot of the details, but I remember that part, the forced drowning. I first wrote The Turtle Catcher as a short story and entered it in the Tamarack competition that has been run for many years by Minnesota Monthly magazine. They chose it as the winner, wrote me a big and generous check, and got me thinking, ‘Hmm, I think I could do more with this story.’ It wasn’t easy. In the three-plus years it took me to expand the story into a novel, I finished my MFA degree in Creative Writing here in Mankato, taught some classes, mothered my children, became pregnant with my fourth child, separated and reunited with my now-husband, gave birth, and ran a marathon. And all that stuff in-between.

Q. Your first book, The Summer of Ordinary Ways was a memoir. What made you decide to write fiction this time around?

A. I don’t know that...[read on]
Read an excerpt from The Turtle Catcher, and learn more about the book and author at Nicole Helget's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Turtle Catcher.

--Marshal Zeringue