Ohio Author Dan Chaon


>>>WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, I WANT TO BRING OUR AUTHOR UP WHO DROVE DOWN FROM CLEVELAND THIS MORNING JUST TO BE HERE WITH YOU TODAY. PLEASE WELCOME DAN CHAON. [ APPLAUSE ]>>THIS MOST RECENT NOVEL HAS STUFF ABOUT THE SATANIC PANIC OF THE 1980s, IT’S GOT STUFF ABOUT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT. IT’S GOT STUFF ABOUT, YOU KNOW, CLEVELAND HISTORY. I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE A BOOK THAT HAD A KIND OF ROSHOMON-LIKE QUALITY IN THAT THERE’D BE SEVERAL PEOPLE TELLING PIECES OF THE SAME STORY AND THE PIECES WOULD CONFLICT IN VARIOUS WAYS BECAUSE DIFFERENT PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW. SO, I KNEW THAT THAT WAS GOING TO BE THE STRUCTURE. ALL RIGHT. SO, IT STARTS OUT WITH THIS GUY WHO’S A CLEVELAND-AREA PSYCHOLOGIST. HE IS HAPPILY MARRIED, HAS A COUPLE KIDS, BUT IN THE PAST, HE HAD A TRAGEDY IN THAT HIS FAMILY WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED WHEN HE WAS 13 YEARS OLD. HIS BROTHER WENT TO PRISON FOR THE CRIME, AND THEN 20 YEARS LATER, HE FINDS OUT THAT HIS BROTHER HAS BEEN RELEASED, HAS BEEN EXONERATED. AND AT THE SAME TIME, HE’S BECOMING INVOLVED WITH A PATIENT WHO’S AN EX-COP WHO’S INVESTIGATING SOMETHING THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE A SERIAL KILLER IN THE CLEVELAND AREA. SO, THERE’S THESE TWO CRIMES AND THEY EVENTUALLY BEGIN TO SORT OF INTERWEAVE. I AM ALWAYS WRITING ABOUT STUFF THAT’S, YOU KNOW, THAT’S GOT MAYBE A SUPERNATURAL ELEMENT OR IS, YOU KNOW, LIKE ON THE EXTREME END OF THINGS. AND ONE WAY I TRY TO GIVE THAT — THOSE ELEMENTS A GROUNDING IN REALITY IS THAT I USE SEEDS OF MY LIFE. SO IN “ILL WILL”, THE HOUSE WHERE THE FAMILY LIVES IS VERY MUCH LIKE MY HOUSE. I THINK FOR ALL WRITERS, THERE’S A QUESTION OF HOW FAR AND IN WHAT DIRECTIONS YOU CAN GET OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF. LIKE — UM, I’VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WRITING FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF WOMAN, FOR EXAMPLE. BUT I DO HAVE A PROBLEM WRITING FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF ELDERLY PEOPLE EVEN THOUGH I’M MUCH CLOSER TO BEING AN ELDERLY PERSON THAN I AM TO BEING A WOMAN. WELL, I MEAN, I THINK THE MAIN ADVICE THAT I HAVE FOR WRITERS, YOUNG WRITERS IS THAT WRITERS READ. AND SO, YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER, YOU OUGHT TO BE READING WHAT’S OUT THERE. YOU KNOW, IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD, AND FIGURING OUT, YOU KNOW, WHERE YOU FIT INTO IT. I JUST SIGNED A DEVELOPMENT DEAL WITH HBO TO TURN “ILL WILL” INTO A LIMITED SERIES. I’M DOING THE SCRIPT FOR TEN-EPISODE KIND OF MINI SERIES. AND I ALSO JUST SIGNED A DEAL FOR TWO NEW NOVELS, SO I’VE GOT A LOT OF THINGS I’M ALREADY SORT OF STARTING. I’VE GOT A NEW NOVEL THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TURN IT IN IN 18 MONTHS, SO IT’S GONNA BE A LITTLE — WE’LL SEE HOW THAT WORKS OUT.

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