Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I interview Vince Dickinson who is the author of Fugue in C Minor, a romantic thriller. The main character finds himself in the perfect life, but he can’t remember how he arrived there.
Welcome to Author Wednesday, Vince. I’m wondering if, like many authors, you have any special writing rituals.
I like to have a large mug of coffee or iced tea next to me. I can’t deal with any kind of distractions when I’m writing. I take my Netbook with me to the patio when I write.
I don’t like any distractions either. It’s always interesting to learn how authors discover their voice in writing. When did you first discover your voice as a writer?
The first thing I ever wrote was a “poem” about Vincent Van Gogh when I was thirteen. My English teacher posted it in the parent newsletter, and I was hooked. I started writing short stories and poems throughout my teens. And then in college I got serious about writing a novel. I started listening to people’s conversations and understanding the natural ebb and flow of dialogue. I think this is still my greatest strength as a writer, and a huge part of my voice.
Why have you chosen to write about a man losing his memory in Fugue in C Minor?
Twelve years ago I was laid off from a great job in high tech. Unemployment wasn’t much. I lived in a small apartment in a posh part of Portland then. I’d go for walks and see these beautiful homes with Porsches, Hummers, and BMWs parked in the driveways. I was a little jealous, so I wondered, what if you had everything, but you didn’t know where the keys for the Porsche were? Or you had a sexy spouse, but couldn’t recall her name? And what if your memory started to return, and you had reason to doubt that you belonged there? I was working on another novel at the time, so I set this idea aside. But I picked it up again about a year ago and dove into that doubt and suspicion. One of the questions that struck me as I composed was, “Could you be intimate with someone you didn’t know well?” Exploration of intimacy and the capacity to connect with another person have always been central to my writing.
Sounds very interesting. I can see why you had to get back to this topic. What kinds of techniques do you like to use in your writing?
In my last three books I have been inserting little Easter eggs into the story; things that casual readers might miss, but that detail-loving readers will catch and put in their basket. It’s important to have a very visual setting, believable characters, dialogue that reveals and drives the plot, but I think it’s also important to have these connective motifs. It’s like finding a chocolate kiss in your trail mix granola!
What is the message conveyed in Fugue in C Minor?
Most people find it easy to float through their lives without latching on to anyone or anything too tightly. There’s risk in attachment. I think love and passion are worth the investment, even if we fail and lose. I think being alive is more than just having a job and a place to sleep. Life is about experiencing awe and wonder, whether it’s in seeing the Grand Canyon or kissing a person you love. My books reflect that belief.
That’s a great message to convey. To return to the grace of a child is my goal in life. What book are you reading right now?
I have David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and your book, Trails in the Sand, on my desk right now. I snack on books more than eating a meal. I just finished reading Liam Callahan’s Cloud Atlas, which my wife bought for me thinking it was the other Cloud Atlas. I loved it! Now I have to start snacking on the Mitchell book. And I can’t wait to see how your Caroline works out her own problems!
I hope you enjoy all of the books on your “platter,” Vince. Fugue in C Minor is in my Kindle queue right now, and I look forward to reading it, especially after getting to know a little bit more about the subject. Thank you for stopping by today. Best wishes on all your future projects.
About Vince Dickinson: Vince holds a BA in English from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, where rain is uncommon. But these days he lives in the Willamette Valley in Oregon with his beautiful wife and kid.
Links and Contact Information:
Blog: The Creative Revolution