Oct 2, 2008

Douglas Abrams, Writing, & Don Juan


It is my pleasure to introduce my guest post and short interview with Douglas Abrams, the author of The Lost Diary of Don Juan, and he will talk about what inspired him to write the novel, what his daily writing routine consists of, and what he's working on now. If you missed my review of The Lost Diary of Don Juan, go here.

Doug is currently making his rounds of the blogosphere on a virtual book tour, and you have probably already seen him on Paperback Writer and Review Your Book. He has tour dates selected for Booking Mama, Novel Menagerie, and Literarily, among others. Check out the other dates, here.

Without further ado, here's Douglas Abrams:

One night I went to bed asking myself a question that I believe every married man or woman asks eventually: how could I stay happily and passionately married for the rest of my life?

The next morning I awoke as if I had been shaken. It was then that I first thought of Don Juan, the universal symbol of passion. I wondered what if he had kept a diary. What secrets would it contain? What could we learn from him about the nature of passion? And ultimately, what might cause the world’s greatest seducer to forsake all women for one woman? I left my wife’s warm sleeping body, walked past our three sleeping children, and sat down at the dining room table. It was as if a voice was whispering the story in my ear.

This is how I decided to write an historical diary exploring Don Juan’s life, his passionate relationships, and his eventual fall into the madness of love. I spent over four years reconstructing the world of 16th century Sevilla, including several trips to Seville itself. The book, which began as an inquiry into the nature of love and lust, took on a life of its own and led me on thrilling adventure into the rich and dangerous world of Golden Age Spain.

So what, you may ask, is the secret to lasting passion and devotion? In the novel, Don Juan finds his answer. I hope that within its pages you will find yours.

For a quick look at the book, check out his sample chapters.

Here's my brief interview with Doug Abrams about his writing process.

Do you have a set writing routing? Do you get up early and start writing or do you write when the mood hits?

I’m a whenever-I-can-steal-the-time writer, which means I write in the morning and at night, whenever I’m not juggling my three children, my other work as a literary agent, or the responsibilities and joys of marriage. What has really been a lifesaver is going away periodically on long writing retreats. The challenge with novels is that you are working with a very large canvas, sort of like an enormous Delacroix hanging in the Louvre, so it is essential for me to step out of daily routines to immerse myself in the fictional world.

Are you working on any other projects, and if so would you care to tantalize my readers with a few hints?

Yes, I am currently finishing the second novel in my two-book contract. Although quite different, all of my novels will attempt to tell dramatic stories that also convey some of the ancient insights about how we can live on this planet with greater joy and wisdom. My next novel is a contemporary diary, an ecological thriller, and a mythic fiction about a love that is even more powerful than passionate love. I began with the question: can we survive as a species, and if so, how?

I want to thank Doug for taking time out of his busy schedule to write a guest post and answer a few questions about his writing process. I also would like to thank Zoe and Michelle for their help as well. If you haven't read his book, you should grab a copy from a local bookstore, an online bookstore, or your local library.

18 comments:

Anna said...

Guest questions! I'd love to go on a writer's retreat! That would be so great to get away and just write without any distractions.

I think his upcoming book sounds very interesting!

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com

Serena said...

That's what I need. One of those writer's retreats. I have to plan one for next year...we'll see about that though.

I am already ready for his next book. I hope it gets finished soon!

Anna said...

We should look into that. Or that trip to Amish country we were going to take together!

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com

Serena said...

Amish country, Boston, hmm, so many places, so little time! LOL

Anna said...

I was thinking Amish country for the relaxation. Boston is for when I want to relive the old days! LOL

--Anna
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com

Serena said...

Boston is where I want to people watch and sit in the Boston Public Garden and write!

Dar said...

Great questions Serena. I would love to go on a very long book reading retreat. I need to pick up his current book and his new one sounds intriguing too.

Iliana said...

Ah, that was great! I have heard about the book and it's on my radar for sure.

Serena said...

This book is fantastic. I loved it and can't wait to find out what the new one is. I can't wait to see what Abrams comes up with next.

naida said...

great interview, i'm adding this book to my wish list.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Shana @ Literarily said...

Great post Serena.

Now I'm even more excited to read this book!

It's interesting how the concept for this novel came to the author.

I'm looking forward to the next one too. It sounds very intriguing and unique.

Serena said...

Shana and Naida: I'm glad you both stopped by to check out the interview and guest post. I think the next book sounds even more intriguing.

Zedque said...

Hi Serena, thanks so much to you for your interest in Doug's book! Glad you and everyone here has been (or will be) entertained and hopefully educated by his writing. Thank you!

--Zoe

Serena said...

It was great working with you and Doug for this post. Thanks Again!

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Thanks for including the sample chapter links!

Serena said...

The sample chapters are what got me interested in the book.

Amanda said...

Serena,

The Cybils are great! Just follow the link to their blog (from my blog) and vote for your favorite children's/young adult books in a whole bunch of categories. It's a lot of fun and is fabulous publicity for authors (and helps us librarians find out just what people are enjoying). Once you've voted, leave me a comment and let me know what categories you voted in and you'll be entered to win that many times for my giveaway. Lots of fun!

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reading in Seattle said...

Great interview! I've wanted to read this book - I'll have to see if I can find a copy.

Your interview has been added to

About the Author - An Author Interview Index
!

~ Wendi