1.Can you give us a basic summary of Still Summer?
STILL SUMMER is
the story of four longtime friends who plan a luxurious sailing trip in the Caribbean – in part to welcome home Olivia,
the leader of their high-school clique – who has lived in Italy for twenty years. But the trip turns into a fight for
survival when the friends, which include Tracey’s 19-year-old daughter, are separated from the crew and left alone to
survive on a disabled boat in the vast and featureless sea.
2. What kind of research did you do in
order to write it?
I went to St.
Thomas and sailed on ‘The Opus,’ which is a real boat, and interviewed
Lenny Amato, its real captain (who was very moved by his own demise). But that was just the beginning. I then had to go over
and over the manuscript to make sure that I got everything right. In fact, the incidents that happened on ‘The Opus’
were LESS harrowing than the stories I heard. I had a credibility budget and to have told what really would have befallen
the lost would have strained the imagination.
3. How long did
it take you to write it?
STILL SUMMER took
about ten months to write.
4. Are there any
books or authors that have inspired you?
Oh my goodness!
As a writer of suspense, Ruth Rendall, Dennis LeHane, Jodi Picoult, Scott Turow, Samuel Daishiell Hammett, Denise Mina and
my great friend, Thomas H. Cook….I’m not saying I write books LIKE theirs, but that I wish I did…In general?
I’m inspired to complete and utter jealousy by everyone I know and don’t
know. I love so much writing out there now and back when, from the Brontes to Suzanne Berne, from Alice Monroe to Ann Patchett.
Most of all, I’m inspired by the maestra, Lorrie Moore, of Madison, Wisconsin, whom I’m privilege to call my friend.
I think she’s the greatest in our generation as a pure writer.
5. Do you keep
a strict writing schedule?
Yup. Every day
but Christmas and Mother’s Day.
6. What are some
of your favorite books?
me. My favorite book is ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith. It’s simply everything a book should
be. I learned most as a writer from ‘In Cold Blood.’ I felt deeply touched in my soul by ‘The Once and Future
King,’ by Michael Shaara’s ‘The Killer Angels.’ Those who are called great sometimes inspire me and
sometimes inspire me NOT to be like them. I love Michael Cunningham’s writing. I can’t bear Jonathan Franzen’s.
Perhaps I’m not very bright…
7. What would
you like your readers to know about you?
enough to have seven children, two dogs (one a Saint Bernard puppy) and write at least one book a year.
8. What are you
working on now?
a couple of things… one is a continuation of my first novel, ‘The Deep End of the Ocean.’
9. Any tips for
so much about it. Do it.
to Jackie Mitchard. For more information, please see Jackie's website at www.jackiemitchard.com.