Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stephen L. Carter

At Publishers Weekly, Leonard Picker interviewed Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter, author of the novels The Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White. A sample from the Q & A:

What led you to try your hand at fiction?

Fiction is something that I always wanted to do. When I was a little boy, I used to buy spiral notebooks at the corner store and write little novels in them. From that time, I always wanted to write fiction, and my first novel came about after many years of working on characters and scenes in my mind, and finally, I came up with a story to fit them.

New England White isn't written in the first person like The Emperor of Ocean Park. Was it because one of the main characters, Julia Carlyle, is a woman?

No, the decision to write in the third person came first. The initial version of the plot didn't have Julia in a major role. Writing The Emperor of Ocean Park in the first person was extremely difficult for me to do. Trying to invent a tone of voice and keep that tone going for a whole novel of several hundred pages was really a great deal of work. I found writing in the third person much more satisfying and, in some ways, easier to pull off.

When you wrote your first novel, did you already plan on using Julia and her husband in a future book?

I think...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue