16 Writerly Questions for...Holly LeCraw

    Posted by Random House of Canada, 5 years ago

    Holly LeCraw lives outside of Boston with her husband, who is a journalist, and three kids. Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared in a range of publications, including the
    Edge City Review and the Boston Book Review. Her short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Though a newcomer as a novelist, she grew up in the book industry. For more information on her newest novel, The Swimming Pool, please visit her website hollylecraw.com/

    1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?

    It’s the story of a young man and an older woman who are mourning the same person--his father, who was her lover--and who, to their great surprise, begin an affair of their own, leading to crises and revelations they never could have imagined.

    2. How long did it take you to write this book?

    I tried not to keep track. Three or four years.

    3. Where is your favorite place to write?

    Alone on Cape Cod.

    4. How do you choose your characters’ names?

    They just come to me and I use them as placeholders, because at the beginning I am always in a hurry; later I go back to change them and they’ve affixed themselves to the characters like barnacles, and I can’t think of anything better.

    5. How many drafts do you go through?

    One draft flows into the other, so I’m not sure. They aren’t discrete manuscripts. Four? Five? Twenty? I did do an edit/polish for both my agent, before we submitted, and then my editor.

    6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?

    Too many to choose from--but on the other hand, I can’t imagine writing any books but my own.

    7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?

    Hmmm...maybe Robert Pattinson for Jed, and Juliette Binoche for Marcella. We could make her French.

    8. What’s your favourite city in the world?

    I would love to spend more time in Florence. I also love London.

    9. Who is the first person who gets to read your manuscript?

    Probably my husband. Then I have a couple of friends who are very, very smart and whom I completely trust.

    10. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?

    If I did I wouldn’t tell! But I do tend to read things over and over and over. Gatsby, Franny and Zooey, Portrait of a Lady... That’s my comfort food.

    11. What is the first book you remember reading?

    Jemima Puddle-Duck, in kindergarten. There were probably others before that but I remember that one very clearly. I loved the illustrations. I think I also loved the smallness of the book. It felt good to hold.

    12. Did you always want to be a writer?

    Off and on, yes. Underneath, always. I just didn’t believe I deserved to do something so astounding.

    13. What do you drink or eat while you write?

    Coffee, tea, water, apples, chocolate. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

    14. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?

    First pen and paper, then laptop, then back and forth.

    15. What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time?

    I can’t remember--I was in shock. And it was a weeknight, so I probably just made dinner for my kids. I was trying to be as normal as possible and not freak myself out.

    One funny thing though. I had been on the phone with my husband all day giving him updates from the auction. The last email I sent him--with what I thought was definitive news that I was going with Doubleday--was apparently so addled that he didn’t realize it was final, and so when he came home from work soon after, he didn’t say congratulations or anything! I gave him a mulligan on that one, and he very wisely left and came back about fifteen minutes later with champagne and flowers, and when he walked through the door he yelled, “Wow! You sold your book!”

    16. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?


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