Friday, July 22, 2011

Dawn Tripp

From Caroline Leavitt's Q & A with Dawn Tripp about Tripp's new novel, Game of Secrets:

I'm always interested in process. Game of Secrets has such an intricate structure, where information is slowly revealed. Did you plan all this out, or did it happen more organically?

This novel felt different from my first two—a literary thriller with a small-town murder at the heart of it—a mystery played out through a Scrabble game. But it didn’t start that way.
Late spring, several years ago, I was working on something else—a historical novel—and out of the blue, over the course of a month I wrote a series of forty poems. I haven’t written poetry since my twenties, although as a writing form, it is my primary impulse. And what I noticed is that those forty poems were all digging into things I couldn’t quite bear to write straight out in narrative, and so they surfaced, in bits and pieces, in those poems. I wrote about a mother and her son, a friend who died abruptly, a girl crossing over a bridge, a car accident, an illicit love and its consequence, a dream stubbed out, I wrote about an unconscionable act of cruelty, and a young man staring at a woman across a moving street while the rest of the world fell away. I wrote about the loss of a child.
It didn’t take much for me to see that those poems had a life, an emotional complexity that the novel I was working on did not. So I ditched that other book, almost 400 pages of it, because these were the stories I wanted to walk into, these were the lives I was on fire to tell.
Out of those fragments, there were three that I couldn’t stop thinking about: the image of a 14 year old boy driving fast down an unfinished highway in a borrowed car; the image of two women playing Scrabble; the image of two lovers, a man and a woman, meeting in an old cranberry barn. I did not know their names, but I could feel the charge of a threat and the desire between them—I knew that this would be the last time they would meet. I had already filled a notebook when an older man from town told me a story of a skull that surfaced back in the 60s out of a truckload of gravel fill, a neat bullet hole in the temple. The moment the story...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Dawn Tripp's website.

The Page 69 Test: Game of Secrets.

Writers Read: Dawn Tripp.

My Book, The Movie: Game of Secrets.

--Marshal Zeringue