Monday, January 4, 2016

Keith Lee Morris

Keith Lee Morris's new novel is Travelers Rest.

From his Q & A with Kevin Nance for the Chicago Tribune:

Q: What was the initial impulse for the book, which is very different from your earlier novels?

A: It's pretty tough to trace. I guess most books have a strange evolutionary pattern, but this one is stranger than most. For a long time I've written two different kinds of fiction. One is what I guess you would call straight realism, or "dirty" realism some people would say. Small-town Idaho stuff. Blue-collar protagonists, down on their luck, the underdog, etc. Both of my previous novels were in that vein. But at the same time, for the past 20 years I've been writing what I call "dream fiction" — stories that are based on dreams or have a dreamlike quality. I've always done that with short stories, though, never with something as long as a novel. So this was my first attempt to write in that mode in a novel.

Q: How does that work?

A: The way I do it is I start off with a piece of a dream and let a narrative start to unfold without knowing exactly where it's going. This novel was originally going to take place at the beach. We go to St. Simons Island in Georgia on vacation every year, and the book started with a dream I had about this beach house where we stay. I walked outside, and there was a window on the outside of the house that shouldn't have been there, and there were two people in the window, talking to one another. So that was the initial impulse. But after...[read on]
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