Sunday, November 29, 2015

Annie Liontas

Annie Liontas' debut novel, Let Me Explain You, was selected by the ABA as an Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next. She is the co-editor of the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors and the recipient of a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

From the author's Q & A with Daniel Torday for The Rumpus:

The Rumpus: As much as I loved so many aspects of this expansive first novel, I think what grabbed me from the first—from the title, even—is how adept you are at crafting and living inside of a voice. And not just one voice: multiple voices. I’ve always felt a little skeptical of that “find your voice” advice for writers, and I remember feeling really freed in my early twenties when I read an interview with one of my favorite writers who said something like, Your job isn’t to find your voice, but to find a voice, for each character, each book. How did you think about the development of voice for each character here?

Annie Liontas: For a long time, I conceived of voice as this wild, untamed, mythical beast that you wrestled onto the page. I still think it is that, on some level—something you channel rather than create. But voice is also artifice, entirely constructed. When it’s real, when it works, it comes, I believe, from empathy and from truly inhabiting another existence, if not person. As a young writer, I didn’t know any of this; it’s only something I’ve developed through practice. What I knew instinctively back then was that I could “do” voice—that maybe it was all I could do—and so I stayed away from writing programs for a long time. I had heard that everyone ends up coming out sounding the same (not true!) and was afraid I’d lose the one thing I had been given.

With Let Me Explain You, I thought about throwing my voice—a kind of living ventriloquism that gets me out of me and into each of my characters. I discovered fairly quickly that Stavros has a big voice (though his humor came far later). He was so big, in fact, that most early readers suggested I write the entire novel in his voice alone. But I knew this had to be...[read on]
Visit Annie Liontas's website.

The Page 69 Test: Let Me Explain You.

My Book, The Movie: Let Me Explain You.

--Marshal Zeringue