I blogged about Hilary Thayer Hamann‘s fantastic debut novel a few weeks ago for our What We’re Reading Wednesday series and promised a Q&A with the author on BookPage.com. I’m happy to say now that the Q&A‘s up, and it provides a fascinating look at how authors make choices about their writing, and why Anthropology of an American Girl is such a special book.
Briefly, the book is a coming-of-age story about Eveline Auerbach, a teen girl from East Hampton. Much of the book details her friendships and relationships with men as she falls into a passionate, painful and even obsessive kind of love with Harrison Rourke, her high school’s visiting drama coach.
You could find out what happens next if you enter to win a copy of the book. To enter, read the Q&A and leave a note in the comments: What’s the subject of Hamann’s next book?
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
There are some people who would never, who could never forsake a friend. Many of the characters in Anthropology possess this quality to varying degrees, but no one so much as Rob Cirillo. Rob is loving, but beyond that, his love is authentic. As he himself might say, it gets through. It reads as honest because he is fearless, and by that I mean, transparent in expressing affection. He is not secretive or self-protective; he doesn’t hide anything or have anything over on anyone. He is unafraid of being hurt by rejection, because in his mind, his love is enough. It’s a matter of confidence.What is the essence of a character? There are myriad ways to reply, but to continue on this theme, let’s say confidence. I don’t just mean confidence as a character living out his or her life in the text, but as he or she relates to the writer outside the text. The characters I like best are the ones I have confidence in, the reliable ones, the ones that can help me do my job of conveying meaning, moving the story. Ironically, if they can remain true to the convictions you have assigned, they become less predictable, more interesting. They write themselves. In my novel, I would say Evie, Jack and Rob wrote themselves.