Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Open Book Toronto Interviews Rebecca Rosenblum

Over at OBT, Angela Hibbs interviews Rebecca Rosenblum about writing, Once, and her forthcoming second book The Big Dream:

AH: How was writing and publishing *The Big Dream* different for you than writing and publishing *Once*? Did you feel more confident having one well received book under your belt? More pressure?

RR: Since *The Big Dream* is still a stack of paper on my publisher's desk, I can't fully answer this. The writing process was a bit more focused and faster than for *Once.* I liked it that way—I felt like I lived inside the book a bit more because I was going right from one story to another. Another reason for this is that the stories in this collection are linked and there is even a small overarching narrative to the book--so I had a bit of scaffolding to fall back on when I lost track of what I wanted to do. I also really liked the feeling of working on a book as a book, as opposed to trying to write enough good stories to include. Both experiences are great, but this one was new!

I am certainly very curious as to how *The Big Dream* will be received by the wider world (wider than me, my writing group, my editor and my agent, I mean). I loved having *Once* in the world, and I feel very lucky that it was read by folks who were open to and enjoyed the things I was doing. But you are right, there is a touch of pressure that comes from having such a positive run--how to top it? What if people don't like *Dream,* or just don't like it quite as much? But in the end, it was the book that I needed to write, to move on and grow and challenge myself after *Once*, and I feel a like I became a better writer in doing it. I feel *The Big Dream* is a stronger, more complicated book than *Once.* So there really was never any other option...but I still hope people like it!!

AH: Who are some of your favourite writers?

RR: This is always so hard--whatever I've been reading recently always crowds to the front of my mind when I'm asked "favourite" questions. I read Michael Christie's *The Beggar's Garden* recently, and it was like he sat down and said, "What book would Rebecca like to read?" and then wrote that. Such tender, understated, funny descriptions of people who live on the margins of our perceptions. I felt this way, even more strongly, about Alexander MacLeod's *Light Lifting* last fall.

I love short story classics, of course of course. Munro and Updike, forever. I read novels too--the last great one was maybe Joshua Ferris's *The Unnamed.* I read an incredible collection of Dionne Brand's poetry not too long ago, and I'm halfway through Van Gogh's letters... I read a lot.

For the whole interview, please go here.

No comments: