I agree with… Matthew Thomas

Matthew Thomas: “It’s rooted in autobiography, that’s inescapable… But when I started, I had this anxiety about it and I tried to deny the autobiographical, for example, giving these characters professions that my parents didn’t have. But that really didn’t work. And strangely, when I loosened up and started putting actual autobiographical elements into the story, the more the characters took on a life of their own and became more fictional.”
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, June 20, 2014]

Matthew Thomas

[photo: matthewthomasauthor.com]

American author Matthew Thomas is talking here about writing his novel We Are Not Ourselves. It is a multi-layered family story which starts with Eileen Leary, the daughter of Irish immigrants, in mid -20th century New York. The location: where Thomas grew up. The occupations of Eileen and Ed, her husband: the same occupations as Thomas’ parents. Ed develops Alzheimer’s: so did Thomas’s father.  It is a character-driven story and one which in the beginning, though driven by his own life experiences, Thomas tried to separate from reality.

It is an experience all authors are familiar with. I am asked regularly whether Rose Haldane in Ignoring Gravity is me, because we are both journalists. No, she is not, but she started with me then became herself. Such is the way of imagination.

For more about Matthew Thomas, click here.

we are not ourselves by matthew thomas 8-1-15


If you agree with Matthew Thomas, perhaps you will agree with:-
Barbara Taylor Bradfordfor me it all starts with a memorable character
Lucy Prebblebecause you’re a perfectionist, research is a compulsion
Michèle Forbes – I was born there, grew up there, and I felt I had to reconnect with the place

‘We Are Not Ourselves’ by Matthew Thomas [UK: Fourth Estate]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Novelists shouldn’t deny the autobiographical, says #author Matthew Thomas via @SandraDanby #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1tH