Recently, we had the honor of interviewing Audrey Niffenegger, author of the mega-best-seller The Time Traveler’s Wife, about career and craft. Audrey is also an artist and professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. If you’ve never read The Time Traveler’s Wife, and you enjoy great fiction, you really have to pick it up; it’s destined to be a classic. Click here to read the synopsis at the Publishers Weekly website. Enjoy!
Part 1: Interview with Audrey Niffenegger
Q: How did the concept for The Time Traveler’s Wife evolve?
A: The original idea came in the form of the title. I wrote the ending first, and then the scene in which Clare loses her virginity. The book was written in no order at all, just me working on whatever I had some idea about. Toward the end of the process I radically changed the order of the scenes to flow along with Clare’s experience of time. Before that they’d been organized thematically, which several friends told me was too confusing.
Q: That was a significant change. Do you think it’s important to have friends/non-writers look at a story and offer feedback – just to make sure things are digestible for the masses?
A: I wasn’t thinking much about who might be reading the book. I wasn’t trying to write a popular book, I was just writing something I would like, myself. There isn’t much difference between my friends and publishing professionals. The friends in question were my sister, Jonelle (works in corporate communications writing speeches and newsletters), my friend Lyn Rosen (freelance editor, works for Farrar, Straus and Giruoux among others),and Danea Rush (formerly worked for the ALA). I think it is a mistake to underestimate what “the masses” might like to read.
Q: I’ve read that it took four years to write TTW. What was your writing process, and has it changed? [Read more…]