Asking Moral Questions In Fiction: An Interview With Caroline Leavitt

By on February 9, 2015, in Uncategorized

My first interview (as the subject!) recently appeared on New York Times best-selling author Caroline Leavitt’s website Leavittville. She asked me questions about my first published short story, The Suitcases of San León, my current writing obsessions, and the experience of living with another writer. Read the full interview here.

Here’s an excerpt:

What kind of writer are you? Do you outline things out messily, or not at all? Do you believe in the Muse?

I usually have an image or a character and a distinctive setting in mind when I start a story, but I have no idea what’s going to actually happen so I don’t outline plot until I’ve already written about half of the story. My best work usually comes from asking myself a moral or existential question in conjunction with the images I’m thinking about—that usually provides enough of an engine to the story to propel the writing forward. I do believe in the Muse, but I don’t believe she’s fickle. She’s always there somewhere inside me, though there are times when she speaks more softly so I have to tell myself to clear out some mental space to hear her when I’ve let daily anxieties take over my mind. I’m most creative when I’m alone, or at least when no one is talking to or around me. I guess you could say silence is my muse more than anything else.

Caroline Leavitt is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow, Pictures of You, Girls In Trouble, Coming Back To Me, Living Other Lives, Into Thin Air, Family, Jealousies, Lifelines, Meeting Rozzy Halfway. Various titles were optioned for film, translated into different languages, and condensed in magazines. You can check out Caroline’s writing here. Her many novels are both suspenseful and emotionally resonant.