Thoughtful and poignant Michelle H starts this round of the blog chain with this question:
If you could dine with any author, and I do mean any whether alive or dead (yes, we’re going into the realms of time travel – but hey, we have science fiction writers on this chain so we can always ask for them to write up the time machine specs), who would you want to dine with? And if you can ask them for advice on one writing element you feel you might be struggling at, what would it be?
My goodness, when I first saw this question, I was like, “Cool!” and “Oh, crap, I have no idea,” all at once.
I’ve often thought about what it would be like to pick the brain of an author. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to find out how they create, how they determine a plot, how they envision their characters, and how the heck they keep hundreds of plot threads straight? (I’m also curious to learn how they handle days, months, years of revising the same words over and over and over and over…well, you get the idea.)
But who would I chose?
Ahem, excuse me while I have an indecision attack. *walks away from computer and retuns hours later*
Yeah, still no clue. *leaves computer and returns the next day*
Uh, yeah, I suck. *gobbles chocolate bar, then forces self to write something*
I think it’s painfully clear by now that I have a really hard time picking my ultimate, favorite, everyone-else-pales-in-comparison, author. Actually, I just might pick JK Rowling, but I’ve seen so many interviews of her, I feel like I know her already. I could say Clive Barker, Anne Rice, or any other horror novelist. I could say Mark Twain–he’s got some great sayings, don’t he? But really, when it comes down to it, I’m gonna have to pick…(drum roll please)
Yup. That’s right.
Confession alert: I grew up in a pretty small, boring, hick town and the school curriculum, well, wasn’t very, um, enriching. Sure, we had French and Spanish for foreign languages, we had advanced Calculus and Biology, and we covered Shakespeare and stuff. But I left high school thirsting for more exposure to the classics.
I didn’t get to indulge myself until after medical school. That’s when I “met” Somerset.–The Razor’s Edge, in particular. The prose in that book is so beautiful, I read the sentences several times, just savoring the flow of phrases and reveling in the selection of words. It’s been a couple of years and I have to say that the story has stuck with me. I may forget the subtle nuances of which character did what, but every time I hear or see someone discussing “fav’s,” this book comes to mind.
Final answer: Somerset Maugham.
And I wouldn’t necessarily have any questions for him. I’d just want to sit and listen to him talk…or maybe read from his books.