Saturday, November 30, 2013

William Landay

In William Landay's latest novel, Defending Jacob, Laurie and Andy Barber's son is denounced as a suspect in the slaying of a classmate. Andy, an assistant district attorney, must see through the cloud of his emotions and straight to the facts of a case that has rocked his quiet suburb. His devotion to Jacob’s innocence is tested under the extreme pressure of a floundering marriage, convincing evidence and sheer uncertainty. As if that isn’t jarring enough, a family secret reveals that the accusations might not be so outlandish.

From Landay's Q & A at A Bullseye View:

Why does this story hit home for readers?

I hope none of my readers will ever be in the position that Laurie and Andy Barber find themselves in, with a child accused of murder. But most parents know the helpless feeling of being shut out of a teenager’s life and thoughts. And of course the readers who are not parents have been children, they understand what it’s like to feel misunderstood. The truth is, what the Barbers go through is not entirely different from what every family goes through; the Barbers’ troubles are just much, much bigger.

In this book, you dive into the science of criminology, what type of research did you conduct?

As little as possible, honestly. The science is fascinating, and there’s a good deal of it in “Defending Jacob,” but I did not want the science to take over the book. It is very interesting to write about human behavior—about why we humans do what we do—because we are finally beginning to unravel the science of it. As interesting as that is, in the end it is not what “Defending Jacob” is about. The novel is about...[read on]
Visit William Landay's website and blog.

Writers Read: William Landay (May 2007).

The Page 69 Test: The Strangler.

The Page 69 Test: Defending Jacob.

--Marshal Zeringue