Reading over an interview transcript I’ve kindly been given the opportunity to clean up, removing my dizzying array of um’s and errrrrs and making myself sound significantly more put-together. What’s interesting for me is revisiting the genesis of the book, a core component of interview requests so far; how did the idea come to you?

Sleep’s a weird thing. Nobody remembers falling asleep; it’s one of the few acts we perform that is successfully done by thinking about, and doing, nothing. Kathy has the otherworldly gift of simply falling asleep. She’s like a baby, in some very charming ways; she turns the light off, reclines, and is out within minutes.

I envy her at what could charitably be described as an unhealthy level. I would, ideally, station a Pygmy with a blowgun at the foot of my bed to shoot me in the neck around 9:50 every night with an anesthetic-tipped dart. Sleep comes to me like broccoli enters a kid’s mouth: slowly, painfully, and with a great deal of grousing involved. But I have clinical-grade insomnia to thank for a book, at least, because at some point during the mid-2000s, when all seemed lost, I decided that if I was going to be awake, I was damn well going to do something with the time. And thus began Reswyt. I sleep better now, but as I’m responding to this interview question, I’m mentally transported back to some very tossturntastic nights, and that’s not fun.

More fun: revisiting the genesis of some of the characters, especially the Queen and Moravin. There was a certain joy in discovering each of them, and the old amygdala goes strongly into the ‘plus’ when I stop to consider their creation. Especially now that I’m well into writing the second book, looking back on how characters originated in the first feels like examining something from a very long time ago indeed.  My writing notes make it clear that, at the time, I felt a powerful need to provide motivation and agency for these two characters, and I hope that ended up being the case.

Now, I’m off to find a Pygmy with a blowgun.


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