Interview With Jeffrey Price
Author of Improbable Fortunes.
1. What inspired you to write your book?
My writing, whether it be Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Improbable Fortunes, has always been concerned with two questions: Who are we and how did we get here? I’ve lived in the West for more than half my life. I’ve seen it change, sometimes for the good, but not always. When people speak of gentrification, it is usually in the area of how Brooklyn has gotten too expensive for artists. I wanted to write about the gentrification in pockets of the West–in my case, Colorado. I live in an affluent western ski town, but the area to the west of me is comprised of small ranching and mining towns that struggle to keep their heads above water. The inhabitants of these towns became more familiar to me when a served as a Deputy Sheriff Reserve for three years. It was during that time that I began collecting the characters for the book.
2. What is it about?
The book is about the fabric of small town western life as experienced by the main character, Buster McCaffrey. An orphan, he’s raised in the town of Vanadium by four different Foster families. He’s meets a wealthy New York venture capitalist, Marvin Mallomar, who comes to town hoping to simplify his very complicated life. Buster, a cowboy by profession, helps him set up his cattle ranch. Then things get sticky when Mallomar’s wife, Dana, initiates an affair with the innocent cowboy to take revenge on her husband. Mr. Mallomar goes missing during a catastrophic flood and the law and the townsfolk look upon Buster as the culprit. The book is a bildungsroman that also renders a picture of the uneasy relationship between established locals and the nouveau settlers who don’t always know what they’re in for.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
I suppose the first thing I would want readers to take away would be an appreciation for my characters. I’m hoping that certain aspects of them, which I can’t go into for spoiler reasons, will be surprising. Not everybody in the West is out to take over public land by force of arms. Not everybody in the West is small-minded, racist and homophobic.
The other pill that is harder to swallow is that we are conditioned to see change as a favorable thing. My book is not so sure about that.
4. What advice do you have for writers?
The usual advice is to write about what you know. But I’ll say that you should write something that’s original and hard to explain in three sentences or in an elevator.
5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I’m a novice to this–having spent most of my life in the movie business–so I really can’t venture an opinion. What I will say is, as I’ve gone around the West giving readings of my book, that the Independent Book Sellers are a vibrant segment of the business helping to keep reading alive and well.
6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
Mostly finding the time to concentrate on the book in between screenwriting jobs.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
Because Improbable Fortunes is a tall tale that is funny and sad, surreal, violent, romantic and ultimately an uplifting human experience. I hope that covers it.
For more information, please consult: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781941729083
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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