ANSWERS TO ALL THE QUESTIONS:


+ Is Wilder your first novel?

My first published novel. I wrote a manuscript called Riots For Beginners that has not (so far) found a publisher.

+ Are you working on a sequel to Wilder?

Well, hmm. Here's the thing. I did write most of a sequel, but my publisher isn't interested. Might share it as bonus content at some point. And I have letters Meili writes to Jason after Wilder. First one is here.

+ Are you like the narrator of Wilder?

In some ways. I get in fewer fights. But I do find myself on the outside looking in.

+ Why young adult fiction?

I wrote a novel about a 17-year-old, a book I wanted to read as a younger man. Needed to read. When it was done, people called it Young Adult. I didn't know so much about that; when I was a younger, we didn't have that section in the library.

+ What did you do before you wrote Wilder?

I made dances. I had a dance company in Philadelphia for 20 years with my collaborators Amy Smith and David Brick. Changed my life. Maybe saved it.

+ Is writing a novel completely different from making dances?

Much in common actually. Rhythm, flow, voice, action. How one things leads to the next. The peculiar beauty and strangeness of everybody and every body. The biggest differences are process. Dance making is social, lots of people, energies, conversations. There's always someone to generate ideas, pick you up when you stumble. Writing is solitary. No social dynamics to manage, no schedules to coordinate. And it's all on you. That's amazing and amazingly hard.

+ Which is harder, writing a novel or making a dance?

Both are hard. Making dances will always be the hardest thing I've ever done. So complicated. The infinite complexity of the human body plus space plus time plus music. Novels are words only. And they're stable: write a sentence today and it stays exzctly the same forever. Dances are elusive, unstable. A section that works perfectly today can slip and look different tomorrow. And the sprawling scale of a novel is wild to me. A reader spends ten or twenty hours with your novel. It's intense to ask that of anyone.


Ask me a question