As a new feature on this blog, I’m starting an interview series called THE SEVEN. I will be inviting some of my favorite authors to answer seven questions about their most recent projects. My first guest is the ever-gracious and always interesting Glen Hirshberg, who wowed me first with his novel The Snowman’s Children, and then again with the incredible collection The Two Sams (both are required reading for fans of literary horror.) And now, over to Glen:
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Q. What is your most recent release?
The Janus Tree and Other Stories. I also have a new novel, Motherless Child, which will be out one way or another–or maybe in more than one way–by the end of the year.
Q. What inspired the project?
Janus is a collection, and it just seemed the time had come. Motherless, though, emerged from one of the stories in the collection, when I woke up about a year after completing the story and realized I knew what happened five minutes after the original ending.
Q. What is the primary theme you’ve chosen to explore with this project?
Oh, you know. The usual, for me. Old Jews and insects. The disappearance of books. Death and how to live with it.
Q. Of everything you’ve written to date, which project has been the most difficult for you?
Without question, The Book of Bunk, the novel I published through Earthling in 2010. Why? I don’t know. I just couldn’t quite get it until I finally did. By accident. Having given up on it at least six times. Took me 13 years, in the end.
Q. Which title would you suggest as a good introduction for newcomers to your work, and why?
Getting harder for me to say. The Two Samsstill contains my best-known stories, at this point, and who am I to argue? But the work, for better or worse, is getting pretty range-y. I hope it’s all still me, and I guess I’m lucky in the sense that nothing I’ve put out is anything I’m ashamed to have put out. So I hope people will be curious enough to pick up the book that seems most interesting to them. The new one, Motherless Child, feels the most commercial to me. But I certainly don’t have a track record of being the best judge of that…
Q. What are your thoughts on the burgeoning digital market?
Let it burgeon. I’m all for burgeoning markets. And reading, wherever that can happen.
Q. What’s next for you?
As noted above, I’ve already completed the next project. Now it’s on to the one after that. I’ve got one linked story set I’ve started–a peculiar sort of occult detective thing–and a young adult novel about domestic terrorism. And more ghost stories. And the haunted Great Lakes island novel I’ve got 2/3rds right, I think. One of those…