The intrepid Norelle Done at SeattleWrote recently posted our interview about If. I feel like I’m finally getting a little better at describing what kind of book If tries to be — in a way that neither sets readers up for disappointment by making it sound more lighthearted-and-easy than it turns out to be, nor alienates readers by making it sound more experimental and challenging than it actually is. For example:
Q: In any case: why write a literary choose-your-own-path (or “choicefic,” or “gamebook”) novel?
A: Partly because it had never been done before. People have come close, but I wanted to write a piece of literature that’s as serious and literary as my favorite novels, while still using this format associated with children’s books. I’ve always been attracted to works of art that bring together the difficult and experimental with the simple and playful. Like the Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth, Andy Warhol, Laura Riding Jackson, Borges. There are all sorts of strange ways that punk and surrealism and the avant-garde intersect with children’s literature and music. If tries to belong to that tradition.
Also, I mention in the interview that it would be “interesting to read a novel like If about a young woman’s choices.” I recently discovered that Kim Newman had a similar thought after he published Life’s Lottery all the way back in 1999. Let’s hope someone takes up the challenge soon.
Anyway, the full SeattleWrote interview is here. Thanks, Norelle!