Tag Archives: Novels

Storytelling: Of Geniuses and Maps

By Kai-Arne Zimny

What makes a piece of fic­tion suc­cess­ful, apart from a good por­tion of luck? Well, some writ­ers deem the craft of ‘plot­ting’ essen­tial for cre­at­ing fic­tion that goes some­where, while oth­ers pre­fer to write from the seat of their pants and are like­ly to dread the prospect of their art being any­thing less than inspi­ra­tion, tal­ent, and vision.

Let me intro­duce you to two writ­ing guides that might offer some per­spec­tive on the ini­tial ques­tion. First, let’s vis­it some­one who claims that both ‘pantsers’ and plot­ters are on the wrong track because …

Read more »

On European Audiences, Workshopping, and His Novel, The Altruists: An Interview with Andrew Ridker

By Sabrina Völz

I met author Andrew Rid­ker at the Heine-Haus in Lüneb­urg on Octo­ber 21, 2019. After the inspir­ing evening, he kind­ly agreed to an email inter­view with the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Blog. His nov­el, The Altru­ists, describes a dys­func­tion­al fam­i­ly bur­dened by their respec­tive pasts and their attempts to repair shat­tered rela­tion­ships. Ulti­mate­ly, as the title sug­gests, it is also about being good.

SV: Your debut nov­el, The Altru­ists, is reap­ing the high­est praise from crit­ics in the U.S. and beyond. How are you cop­ing with all of the attention?

AR: I’m extreme­ly grate­ful for the kind reviews, which have exceed­ed my expec­ta­tions, but in my expe­ri­ence those highs have an expi­ra­tion date of rough­ly twen­ty-four hours. After that, it’s back to work.

SV: In Octo­ber, you went on a book tour in Ger­many (Berlin, Göt­tin­gen, and Lüneb­urg), Aus­tria (Salzburg), and Switzer­land (Zürich). Was it your first vis­it to these Ger­man-speak­ing coun­tries? Did any­thing sur­prise you?

Read more »