Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dawn Tripp

From a Q & A with Dawn Tripp about her new novel, Game of Secrets:

Where did the idea for Game of Secrets come from?

I had three images in my head: a 14 year old boy driving fast down an unfinished highway in a borrowed car; two women playing Scrabble; and two lovers, a man and a woman, meeting in an old cranberry barn. The images weren't based on anything in my experience or anyone I know, but I began to write them. I had already filled a notebook when an older man I knew from town told me a story of a skull that surfaced back in the '60s out of truckload of gravel fill, a neat bullet hole in the temple. The moment the story was out of his mouth, I knew that skull had everything to do with the two friends playing Scrabble, the lovers in the cranberry barn, and with that boy driving fast down an unfinished highway in a stolen car.

Why did you choose to use a Scrabble game?

I love Scrabble. Growing up, I played all the time with my grandmother. She played for the words, as many women in her generation did. I always played for the numbers. How we play Scrabble can reveal so much about how we tick, how we live, who we are. Some play to keep the board open, some play to shut it down. Some play with an eye to the sum of the total scores of all players; some play, simply, to maximize their own score. Most players will look at the board and see the words that fill it. But a really good player, a canny player, will also see opportunity in the skinny spaces still left open in between. The game for me became the perfect lens for a story about two families bound together and divided by unspeakable secrets—a brutal past, a murder, a love story. Because what are words if not...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue