In this interview, Editor-at-Large Dan Smetanka and author Ilie Ruby discuss the inception and editorial process for Ilie’s latest novel, The Salt God’s Daughter, just published from Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press.
Ilie: I should begin by saying that The Salt God’s Daughter was unlike anything I’ve ever written—in part, because of the way the deal was negotiated and because I’d never written a novel on a tight deadline. My first novel, The Language of Trees took me ten years to write. That decade was all about healing from an autoimmune illness and the book is all about second chances and perseverance. Dan read Salt God in its very early stages. We’d been in touch for years and I knew we shared an aesthetic.
Dan: In my twenty years in publishing it never ceases to amaze me when I see an author truly hit their stride. It’s a special and amazing thing, like lightning in a bottle. What struck me with this project was how these characters and these themes appeared fully formed as if they were guests we had invited into a room. I got to meet them, learn about them, and watch their stories unfold, and was completely taken with the story in its very early stages. They were singular, specific yet universal at the same time. This book for me manages to be both epic and intimate— a very hard thing to pull off in a novel. [Read more…]