Hello everyone! Today I have Part II of my something different but I thought maybe some of you followers would like to know about it 🙂 Today I will have my author interview to tell you about it… So let me Share some goodies!
SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS is the story of a man in prison who falls in love, through lengthy correspondence, with a woman he’s never met. Getting out, he goes to find her and discovers that the love letters he’s received were written not by a woman but by a closeted gay man — a small town minister. Not only did the minister deceive the prisoner, but he sent a photograph of his sister (who lives with him) as a picture representing himself. And not only is the sister unaware of the ruse, but she herself happens to be a lesbian. The ex-prisoner has fallen in love physically with a woman who doesn’t know he exists, and mentally with a man he doesn’t know how to love. Set in the scenic Texas Gulf Coast fishing village of Rockport, SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS is a darkly humorous and contemplative examination of the parameters of love, sex, sexuality and cultural perspective.
WELCOME!! First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
I had in the back of my mind an idea about a prisoner getting love letters from a woman – who turns out to be a closeted male. I loved the set-up. And I wanted to explore small town Texas life as well and of how this sort of thing happens (particularly?) in these very small, seemingly constricted environments. And also of how so many lives are seemingly randomly affected and drawn into circumstances of a deeply personal nature that are anything but arbitrary. (For reasons only God understands, “It’s six degrees of separation everywhere but in Texas, here the rule is 1.5 degrees.”)
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
ANY KIND OF LUCK (Kensington, New York, 2001.) Book was nominated for three National Book Awards (Runner-up, Lambda “Best Romance”). Basically a gay “Coming Home” story about a male couple leaving New York City and returning to small town Texas to care for a dying parent. Their fears of being ostracized are never realized; their trepidation is worse than any actuality. Moral; never be afraid to take those unknown steps in life – it’s all growth! www.anykindofluck.weebly.com
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s ALL my life … and none of it my life. Someday I WILL write my life story. Fiction writer’s have to have multiple personalities. How else could I write in the voice of my character, Otis McCloud, in SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS – a seventy year old Black man? Nobel Prize winning South African writer Nadine Gordimer was once asked how she, a white woman, had the temerity to write Black characters? Her answer,”A writer has to be able to imagine themselves in the shoes of both genders and all races and ages. ‘I don’t think you can call anyone a writer at all if they don’t have this ability, ‘ she said. ‘We writers must claim some sort of mysterious sixth sense. I don’t think it should be considered arrogant or elitist. It’s just part of our job.”
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
“The story” is the Executioner. It all revolves around plot and structure; who lives and who dies.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Since I rarely read contemporary fiction and I DO read lots of non-fiction, some recent authors who’ve knocked it out of the park for me include; David Grann, “The Lost City of Z”, Michael Jacobs, “Andes”, Lonn Taylor, “Texas, My Texas” and Charles O. Mann, “1493”.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
Larry McMurtry used to be my God, but even he has clay feet. (Ever tried reading ‘Lesser McMurtry’ works such as, “Paradise?” Don’t.) That said, I admire ANY writer who gets up every morning and commences the exquisite agony of actually writing something readable. Many are called, few are chosen.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Yeah, I’d somehow find a picture of me that looked more like Bradley Cooper and less like Dennis the Menace.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have a gift for writing believable dialogue – which has very little to do with the way people actually talk. And although some seem to disagree – plotting is not my forte’. I let the story go where it must. The idea of “pre-charting” every waking second of my character’s arc makes me nauseous. I have to have the ability to paint myself into corners and somehow find a way out.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre? My followers love author’s opinions!
“The Worst Hard Time”, Timothy Egan
“Ni’ihau – The Last Hawaiian Island”, Ruth Tabrah
“The Zanzibar Chest” – Aidan Hartley
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Me, me, ME! It’s all me! (My first novel’s cover was so distressingly awful I vowed in the future to forsake the almighty dollar, if need be, just to have some input. Of course publishers DETEST hearing any opinion that any writer might have concerning a book cover that their name will be associated with for all eternity. This time I designed it myself. It’s far from perfection – but trust me, light years beyond my previous desecration.) Hate it, love it? Take it up with the author!
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Writing ain’t for sissies.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
Probably the one character I didn’t actually write about in SIGHS – “Little Ray.” The fact that he’s about to be intensely, unconditionally and enthusiastically loved by my protagonist at the end of the story is poetic justice.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Try picking up one of Larry McMurtry’s best first novels, “ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO BE STRANGERS.” A great read. (Why this still hasn’t been made into a movie amazes me.)
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
“Without you I’m nothing.” Most emphatically!
Thank you so much for stopping by and answering all my questions! 🙂
Author Info and Links:
* I borrowed this picture from his website to show you* If you would like to learn all about Mr. Sibley, his Bio Page and other works can be found HERE
AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.williamjacksibley.com