Saturday, July 18, 2020

David Klass

David Klass is the author of many critically acclaimed young adult novels and has also written more than forty feature screenplays for Hollywood studios including Kiss the Girls (starring Morgan Freeman and adapted from the novel by James Patterson), Desperate Measures (starring Michael Keaton), Walking Tall (starring The Rock), and In the Time of the Butterflies (starring Salma Hayek and adapted from the novel by Julia Alvarez). He has also written for Law and Order: Criminal Intent and currently runs the TV Writing concentration at the Film Program in Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts.

Klass's new novel is Out of Time.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Out of Time catches the pace of the novel but also the underlying question that drives it forward: If the Earth is almost out of time, does that justify an eco-terrorist taking matters into his own hands? I originally wanted to call the book Green Man but was warned that it would sound like a book about The Hulk.

What's in a name?

I never thought I would name a main character Tom Smith but I like the way everyone kids him about his very common name, when his abilities are extraordinary. As for Green Man, whatever first and last name I gave him he will always be Green Man to me. That’s the name I had when I started writing the book one night and knew nothing else about the project.

How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your new novel?

My teenage reader self loved thrillers like Marathon Man so I think he would have enjoyed this book and been proud that his older writer self could have come up with it.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

The beginnings are always much harder for me because the characters swim slowly into focus as I try to find their voices. But once I have them locked in, I sit back and try not to impose myself and I let them tell their story. The ending of Out of Time wrote itself.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

Both Tom and Green Man are versions of myself. They feel similar to me but both have qualities and abilities that I yearn for. When they meet near the end of the novel for the first time, it sort of felt like my younger self was coming face to face with my older self.

What non-literary inspirations have influenced your writing?

My teenage daughter brought me to a climate change rally at the UN and I was impressed by the passion of the protesters. But on a deeper level I was inspired by the charge they were leveling against me and my generation: we were bequeathing to them a damaged and possibly doomed world and it was our responsibility to try to fix it before we’re all out of time.
Learn more about Out of Time.

--Marshal Zeringue