Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Author Spotlight: George Dawes Green, author of Ravens

When Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko drive into the small town of Brunswick , Georgia, their only thought is to fix their car's leaky right tire and continue on to Key West, Florida, away from their dead-end jobs as computer technicians in Ohio. But when Shaw discovers that the 318 million dollar Georgia State Lottery has just been claimed by an ordinary Georgia family, he sees an opportunity - he and Romeo will blackmail the Boatwright family for half their winnings and ditch their deadbeat lives for good.

Disguised as a state lottery representative, Shaw enters the Boatwright's home and holds the family hostage, while Romeo patrols the town, staking out the homes of the family's loved ones, should the Boatwrights refuse to comply with their demands. But Shaw isn't your average criminal out to make a quick buck. Instead, he has a grand messianic vision and he'll stop at nothing to see it through -- and soon, the Boatwrights find themselves living a Flannery O'Connor American nightmare from which they can't properly awaken.

Q. How do you go about developing a story? How carefully do you plot your novel before you write it?

A. All the pieces of a thriller have to fit seamlessly, and should be weighed and measured scrupulously before any assembly is undertaken.

Q. Do you base characters on real people?

A. On myself mostly. But when the writing begins, all personas must say goodbye to their models and board the train and make the journey by themselves.

Q. How important is storytelling for a society? Would you talk about your founding of The Moth?

A. The art of the raconteur is a beautiful thing – there’s its prime importance. It may have some kind of theraputic or societal value, but I’m mostly interested in the beauty. So far as I know, there had never in history been a public forum for the kind of stories we celebrate at the Moth – unscripted, personal, ‘kitchen’ stories. So I created one – with the help of a thousand friends and, in particular, Joey Xanders and Lea Thau – and now we’re traveling all over the world and we’re downloaded by millions and the art of the raconteur seems to be exploding. As it should. If you haven’t been to a Moth, please go – the evenings can be rapturous.

Q. The Juror was your second novel and was tremendously successful. Your first book (Caveman’s Valentine) won an Edgar Award. Then over a decade passed when no novels appeared. Now, you have a third book, Ravens. Why did you take a hiatus after The Juror and why did you return to novel writing?

A. The years just kind of got away from me.

Q. Are you currently working on another novel?

A. I am, and I’ve sworn to deliver it soon, and my amazing, beautiful, patient and gracious editor has threatened to put me in irons if I don’t.
See the book trailer for below.

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