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Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Interview With Author Joseph Brisben
1.What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking
an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
1950’s "Sunset Boulevard" served as a huge inspiration to me in
writing Marvin’s Garden. That is where I found the idea of a dead woman telling
her story. More specific elements of the book were taken from my life such as
my main character Madge, who is based off a distant cousin of mine who was
abused by her husband. The setting, more specially the barn/farm are based of
property a few of my friends own in Iowa.
2.What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
Relationships that involve abuse are very complex and layered. Marvin’s
Garden shows the depth with which people need to go to live with or
overcome crudity. In the same right, I
believe it highlights that karma will always win out. I did write the book
first to please myself and to honor the town of Pond Creek, Oklahoma.
3.What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who
finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
As Art Buchwald
said during his 1993 commencement address to the graduating class at the
University of Southern California: “I hope they remember having a pleasurable
experience,” and, as Martin Luther King once said: “The arc of the moral
universe is long but it bends towards justice.”
4.What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Write every day,
follow your heart and your bliss and trust people who will read your work and
provide your with beneficial suggestions.
5.What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the
book publishing industry is heading?
I think the book
world in general is doing fine so long as readers would prefer to hold a book
in their hands rather than staring at a computer screen. I just finished
reading Larry McMurtry's wonderful book about his adventures in trading
second-hand books, which gives me hope about the book world. It is true, films
and television seem to be satisfying people's cravings for fiction, but I don’t
think this is completely eliminate fiction books.
6.What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
challenge was in writing it from the point of view of a woman, much less a dead
7.If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
There is no
accounting for some peoples' taste, but I would advise them to buy it and then
warn them: Don't read it as you go to sleep because you won't doze off until
you finish the book. Marvin’s Garden will take you into the wee small hours of
Joseph Brisben has been writing fiction off and on for more
than four decades. He studied English and American literature at the University
of Chicago and at Drake University. In recent years, he participated in the
Summer Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Now retired, Brisben has
worked as a reporter and copyreader, in college public relations and as an
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