PETER GADOL INTERVIEW
Peter Gadol is the exciting author of a number of sensationally exhilarating novels including the deliciously dark, drama-driven Thriller “The Long Rain”. Here, he spares some time to chat to Steve Rudd about his life in literature’s fast lane…
Hi Peter, how are you keeping?
Quite fine, thanks. It’s been a lovely winter in Los Angeles.
What kind of things inspire you to write the books that you do, and is the Thriller genre the one in which you find yourself most at home when putting pen to paper?
“The Long Rain” was an atypical burrowing into genre fiction for me, and quite unexpected. I came up with a central conceit for the book, then characters, the plot and so forth, but at no point did I stop and say, “Oh, I’m writing a Thriller”! I am more driven to examine ethical dilemmas and the daily conflict of the ordinary man wondering how to behave in an alien world.
What inspires me? Other writers and artists, from JM Coetzee to Gerhard Richter. Don DeLillo and Philip Glass. Philip Roth and Zaha Hadid. And so on.
Did you always aspire to be a writer from a young age, and how did you feel when your first novel got published?
I can’t say I always wanted to be a writer. Other professions occurred to me, especially architecture. I found my way to writing in college studying poetry with Seamus Heaney. My poetry became increasingly narrative and I was working as a fiction intern at “The Atlantic” magazine in Boston. After college, I started writing my first novel, and then I was incredibly lucky and sold that book when I was twenty-four. When that happened, I think I felt as though there was extra oxygen in my apartment. I was breathing a lighter air.
I love what I do and am so very fortunate to have been able to pursue it my entire adult life.
Of all the books you’ve written, is there one in particular that’s your personal favourite?
Well, I always think the one I’m writing is my favourite – how can it be any other way? But I think the best experience for me was working on my third book, “Closer To The Sun”. I felt in control of the tone all the time I was writing it – and while I’d change elements now, write in a different diction, I still think that at the time I was gratified by achieving what I’d initially envisioned.
Your “Long Rain” Thriller aside, what other subjects and types of plot-line have you grappled with in the past?
I have to be honest, that’s just too big a question for me to answer. I’d rather let the books stand for themselves. Quite honestly, they’ve all been so different. I wouldn’t know where to begin.
Do you find that it’s easier to publicise your books over in the US compared to in the UK and the rest of the world?
My books have been published in the UK and in foreign editions, but I haven’t been involved in those publicity campaigns. All the foreign editions look fantastic!
Do you ever undertake promotional tours when your books are published, and do you have any tall tales to tell from such events?
Yes, I’ve done book tours. And yes, I have tales. Lots of them. And you need to buy me a drink before I’m going to talk out of school. One drink should do it; I’m a lightweight.
Have you ever got halfway through writing a book and decided you didn’t like the way things were progressing to such an extent that you scrapped the whole thing to start over?
All the time. I have thrown out at least one entire manuscript since publishing my first book. I wrote “Light at Dusk” once, scrapped the book, wrote and published two other books, and then came back to “Light at Dusk” without looking at a word of what I’d originally written; only the central plot line remained the same. So it happens, yes, and it’s never great, but always worth it in the end.
What facet of your life as an acclaimed writer do you enjoy the most?
Is there anything better than getting up in the morning and sitting down at one’s desk and launching into a strange world of one’s own devising? I think not. It’s the day to day life of a writer that sustains me.
For more information about Peter Gadol and his writing, visit www.petergadol.com
(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Peter Gadol)
Signed copies of Steve’s first book are available here