1. Can you give us a basic summary
Trouble is about a medical student named Jonah Stem who saves a woman from being stabbed to death
in the street. He soon learns in a very deadly way that heroism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.2. How long did it take you to write it from start to finish?
About a year. Generally that’s how long I take to write a novel.
Trouble in particular took about 14 months or so, because I made so many revisions.
3. Did you do any research for this novel? If so, what
I am not a doctor, I had to do a fair amount of research about medicine and medical education in order to achieve verisimilitude.
I did extensive reading and conducted dozens of hours’ worth of interviews. My wife was a medical student
when I wrote the book—although not a third-year, like Jonah—and her input truly made the book what it is. Her
name belongs on the cover as much as mine.
4. Are there any authors or books who inspired you as a writer?
So many. I love to read. A partial list of my favorite authors would include Evelyn
Waugh, Vladimir Nabokov, John Fowles, Ruth Rendell, and David Mamet. Stephen King. My parents. Elmore Leonard.
5. Do you keep a strict writing schedule?
Yes. I write every morning, take a break for lunch, and then return in the afternoon.
I find it helpful to use a page quota; I won’t finish work until I’ve written at least 10 new pages. Sometimes
I write more than that, but never less.
is your target audience?
Anyone who reads is my audience.
When I’m writing, I try to entertain myself and my wife. After the book comes out it’s there for everyone.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
anything by the aforementioned authors. Specific titles for each of them would be Black Mischief, A Handful of Dust
(Waugh); Lolita, Pale Fire, Laughter in the Dark (Nabokov); The Collector (Fowles); A Judgment in Stone
(Rendell); American Buffalo (Mamet); Different Seasons (King); Billy Straight (J. Kellerman); The
Quality of Mercy (F. Kellerman); City Primeval (Leonard).
8. What would
you like your readers to know about you?
a pretty accessible guy, and that if you write me—and are polite—I’m so happy to correspond with you.
9. What are you working on now?
My next novel,
The Genius, will be out April 10, 2008. I’m in the middle of getting that ready for publication.
10. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Well, everyone will find his or her own way to write, but
one thing I think most successful writers have in common is perseverance . Keep writing. The only way to do this
job is to do it—and do it again, and again, and again. And rewrite. That’s where the real work is
Special thanks to Jesse Kellerman. For more information please visit his
website at www.jessekellerman.com.
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