Thursday, March 3, 2011
A conversation with Jasper Fforde (part 2)
My month-long Fforde Ffiesta celebrating the March 8th publication of One of Our Thursdays is Missing continues. As promised, here is the second half of the Viking publicity interview with Jasper Fforde. Part 1 of the interview may be read here, and my review of the novel may be read here. Readers who prefer to go into a novel completely blind may prefer to read this interview after reading One of Our Thursdays is Missing. Enjoy!
Being the written version of someone is a double-edged sword. You have many of the skills, but then you have a lot of the downsides, too. Written Thursday’s biggest problem is that she was written with the passion for the real Thursday’s husband, yet Landen refused to be featured in the Thursday Next books. (Perhaps it might be as well to explain at this juncture that the Thursday books in our world and the Thursday books in Thursday’s are quite different!) So, all the hots for Landen, but no Landen. It is a sense of loss that drives her, something which her ghostwriter intended. It allows me to look at the notion of someone who loves someone—but can’t have them. And how do they deal with that? More importantly, should a writer consider the emotional stress wrought upon their creations by clumsily written backstorys?
Q: Tell us about the killer mimes.
Q: What was the plot thread that you found most enjoyable to write?
Q: Metaphors play a vital role in your world, and in the end, in the revelations behind the Peace Talks. Why are they important?
Metaphor is only of real importance on Fiction Island—in Non-Fiction, Metaphor is mercilessly hunted down and eradicated. Fiction is the world of ambiguity and inference, Non-Fiction the world of clean and clear facts. I like the idea of Metaphor being the magic dust that transforms shopping lists into revealing windows into shopper’s souls. Writing is a dark art, but it is by the very complex and often subtle use of metaphor and all the other mechanics of meaning and ambiguity can we hope to convey so much with so little. That being so, it follows that much of Fiction runs on Metaphor, and with a commodity so powerful, its production and supply becomes a matter of great concern. And drama is never far away.
The next book will be a standalone. It’s time I did another. Then we’ll be either back with Thursday or with Jack Spratt—or maybe even Shades of Grey 2. Lots of options.