Saturday, February 16, 2013

Interview with Duncan Whitehead

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
I think the message is that our actions and events from the past can always come back to haunt us when we least expect them to and while we think they may be finished and doesn't necessarily mean that they are.
Is there any special method to your writing? 
This book, as it has so many different characters and plots that had to intertwine and interconnect and because I did not want any plot holes or insult the reader, I wrote initially as three separate short stories. I then developed each one and arranged them so they would fit into the wider plot. Usually I write a very quick 10 or 20 page outline of how I want it to pan out and I revisit that outline and improve (I hope) and expand on it.

How many hours a day do you spend reading /writing? 
At least 5 hours.

What books have most influenced your life?   
The biography of John Kennedy Toole, Ignatius Rising.  He wrote A Confederacy of Dunces which is a picaresque novel that appeared in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. He wrote a hilariously funny book and could not, during his lifetime, get it published nor was it appreciated.  Reading about his struggle and his despair and his ultimate death, due in some part because of his perceived failure as a writer inspired me to never give up, and to continue writing comedy and quirky stories and that one day they will be read and maybe liked.  It is a great read.

If you could be the author of any novel, which would it be and why? 
It would be a Confederacy of Dunces - it was written with a style and humor that I like.  I believe it is one of the best comedic novels ever written and to be able to develop a character like Ignatius J Reilly would have been so much fun.  I would love to one day write a follow up to that as there was so much that Toole could have done with a great comic character such as Reilly.

What are your current projects?
 I am currently drafting two sequels to The Gordonston Ladies Dog walking Club and my next book, a comedy set in Manhattan, The Reluctant Jesus is at the editing stage.  I am also writing spoof and comedy news articles for various websites.