Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Interview with Author Mitchell James Kaplan

Last week I wrote about Mitchell James Kaplan's book By Fire, By Water. It was a fantastic read and the author was kind enough to answer some questions for me to present to you all. Check this interview out, my original book review and once again- go read the book!

Q: When you were finished writing this were you happy it was completed? Sad?

A: I never did feel it was “finished.” Possibly to the annoyance of my publisher, I kept revising until the last minute. Even now that it's in the marketplace, my feeling is that By Fire, By Water is only the first chapter in a larger project (my novel writing career) rather than a complete entity unto itself.

Q: Out of all the characters who were in your novel, did you find yourself connecting emotionally with a particular one?

A: I became involved with all the characters. It was important for me to inhabit each of them. I lived with them every day. They were an important part of my life. They still are.

Q: Why have Santangel be the more prominent character and not another?

A: He occupied a position at the center of the events I wanted to write about, and played a role in all of them. His role as Columbus's sponsor was crucial, yet remains relatively unknown. His life was dramatic and I found his crises of identity and faith compelling. I did not chose Santangel; he chose me.

Q: What would you like the readers of this book to come away with when they're finished?

A: For me, writing novels isn't just an exercise in style, or in plot-construction, it's about contemplating the human condition through narrative. I would love to think my readers benefit from getting to know, intimately, characters whom they might not otherwise have understood or felt for.

Q: Are you working on any more novels and if so will they be of the historical genre?

A: Yes, and yes. In my opinion, all novels are historical. Even if they are set in the present (or the future) they involve exploring a given society at a particular time, trying to capture the spirit of that time and the way individuals are affected by – and change – the world around them. The setting and period may differ, but the process of researching and writing the novel will probably remain the same for me.

Q: Do you ever intend on writing another novel that will focus on Christopher Columbus' journey?

A: That is not in my immediate plans. I do have an idea for a novel along these lines, but it's not one of the next few I plan to write, and I may not, in fact, ever get to it.

Q: Care to leave any final words for myself, the readers of my blog, and your fans?


Thank you so much, Erica, for giving me this opportunity.

Bloggers like you have become so important for writers and readers alike. You are providing an invaluable service by raising awareness of books that might otherwise go unnoticed. There is a wonderful vibrancy in the blogging community, too, and a respect for the written word and for storytellling.

To your readers: Thank you for supporting “Soon Remembered Tales.” Keep coming back for Erica's excellent recommendations, as will I.

To my readers: What would I be, without you?

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