Interview with Jason Gurley – author of a number of novels, most recently, Eleanor. On a personal level, I was thrilled to find out that Gurley lives in Scappoose, Oregon, probably just uphill from the setting of my upcoming novel, At the Waterline. I love the landscape in that corner of Oregon. My first son was born when my wife and I lived in Scappoose. But even more than that connection, I found Gurley’s thoughts on the writing life to be refreshingly warm and clear. As always, Herron’s interviewing style creates a welcoming, gracious space for another writer to speak humbly and honestly.
My notes while listening:
Gurley’s least-favorite writing advice: “Publish fast, publish often.” – buzzy advice coming from the self-publishing world, which is often heavy on business and promotion. Writing fast and publishing fast is bandied about with a level of gravitas that is not always earned.
Idea folder: Gurley keeps a folder where he puts notes and ideas – Writes as little as he can about these snippets of ideas – keeps it as divorced as he can from story. Ideas: intuitive thoughts – scenes – themes – an image – puts these pieces of inspiration into the folder. Then, on days when he is struggling with what he is working on, he dips into the folder and incorporates something he finds into the story he is working on. Hoves ahead with an idea that came with a bit of life of its own. There is a level of intuition about what to hide away in the folder and what to pull out of the folder when he needs it.
Favorite part of the writing process: Editing! Editing is magical – advice: learn to love editing.