Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Craig McDonald

Craig McDonald is the Edgar®/Anthony nominated author of Head Games, Toros & Torsos, and Print the Legend.

From his Q & A with Vince Kennan about McDonald's new novel, One True Sentence.

Q. You’ve said this book wraps up a loose trilogy within the Hector Lassiter series about Hec’s friendship with Ernest Hemingway. What effect does the popular conception of Hemingway have on your treatment of him as a character? Does his larger-than-life image make it easier or more difficult to write about him? Conversely, what challenges are posed by writing about real-life figures who are lesser known to contemporary readers, like Ford Madox Ford?

I try to write Hemingway as I think he must have been — warts and all, struggling with what was probably a fatal bi-polar condition and self-medicating as best he could with writing and alcohol. I’m frankly astounded he survived into his sixties. I’m not sure how widely Hem is read these days by those under, say, age 40, and if he is, I suspect his image as a man is probably shaped by comments by partisan professors and a few lines of biography at the back of his books.

In the 1980s, particularly after his last wife died, there were scores of Hemingway biographies published; a mini-series of his life in which Stacy Keach appeared. That all kind of tapered off in the late 1990s. I don’t think a major biography of Hemingway has appeared in the past decade or so. So I think his actual personality and biography are receding in the collective unconscious again. A piece of trivia: this summer will in fact mark the 50th anniversary of Hem’s death.

In terms of writing Ford and Gertrude Stein and the like, I essentially tried to portray them in a manner consistent with Hemingway’s portraits in A Moveable Feast, and, really, as simply other characters. In that sense, One True Sentence was essentially conceived to be a crime novel recasting...[read on]
Read "The Story Behind the Story: One True Sentence, by Craig McDonald" at The Rap Sheet.

The Page 69 Test: Toros & Torsos.

The Page 69 Test: Head Games.

The Page 69 Test: Print the Legend.

My Book, The Movie: Print the Legend.

The Page 69 Test: One True Sentence.

My Book, The Movie: One True Sentence.

--Marshal Zeringue