Sunday, December 21, 2014

Keith Donohue

Keith Donohue is the national bestselling author of the novels The Stolen Child, The Angels of Destruction, and Centuries of June.

His new novel is The Boy Who Drew Monsters.

From Donohue's Q & A with Dorothy Reno at the Washington Independent Review of Books:

Throughout the novel, there are four characters experiencing strange things in the same house, but they only tell each other snippets of what has happened. For instance, when Tim is driving Nick home one night, they see a ghostly man in the road. But Nick denies he has seen it. Why does psychological isolation make a haunting that much more powerful?

This novel is built on a structure that alternates among four point-of-view perspectives. How each of the main characters perceives what is going on, what they choose to hide and reveal from one another, what they choose to believe. Holly and Tim have trust issues with each other, and both try to protect the kids. Nick doesn’t have anyone to confide in, and Jack isn’t exactly forthcoming about what’s going on inside his head. Each one chooses a kind of isolation, and that’s part of what is driving them mad.

There’s a scene where Holly, a non-practicing Catholic, goes back to church. We lapsed Catholics know the day always comes when we have to face the priest. And this got me thinking about Roman Catholicism in American horror: As a foreign national, America feels overwhelmingly Protestant to me. And, yet, no American movie or novel has a haunting scene where the characters say, “We have a ghost situation, better call in the youth pastor.”

I think that might have something to do with the perception of priests as exorcists. There’s something ancient and almost mystical about a priest’s authority. Holly first visits the priest because she longs for someone to...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Boy Who Drew Monsters.

Writers Read: Keith Donohue.

--Marshal Zeringue