Since Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl released, questions have been rolling in. These questions have come in a barrage, and so I’m going to respond in a barrage (at least to the most reoccurring of them–and to one or two that were just fun).
1. Were you inspired to write this book by Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz?
A. No. I’ve actually never read any of Miller’s stuff. I have seen a couple clips of him (seems like a nice guy), and I’m grateful to him for BLJ, because he’s introduced hunnerds of thousands of Christian readers to the concept of creative nonfiction.
2. Is Tilt an intentional rebuttal of Blue Like Jazz?
A. Nope. See above. Doesn’t mean that the two books aren’t ever at odds. But I’m not in a position to know.
(Note: The same answers apply to questions about Rob Bell. Maybe I should be familiar with his work, but I’m not.)
3. What Christian writers inspired you the most?
A. On the one hand, we have: Lewis, Chesterton, Dillard (her early stuff). On the other, and more profoundly: Solomon’s Ecclesiastes.
4. You’re wrong. Flies never give birth to live young. They lay eggs.
A. No, you’re wrong. I seen it with my own two eyes. (It squeezed out larva upon larva while a mantis tore its head off and began sipping out its insides.) Contra mundum.
5. Will they’re be a sequel?
A. Someday. But whenever it comes, it won’t be orbital like Tilt. But that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be linear.
6. How do you get yourself to write in stream of consciousness and still make sense?
A. I don’t write in stream of consciousness. How’s that for cheating? I outlined each chapter, collecting and assembling elements and themes and particular images beforehand, then I assembled it all. Once assembled, I edited like the dickens.
7. How do you justify some of the, ahem, colorful language in the book?
A. I say at the beginning of the book that my language never gets as colorful as the prophet Ezekiel’s. When I fire off with a “vulgarity”, I’m not doing so on a lark, or just to get a snicker out of the back row at youth group. I don’t do it often, but when I do, I’m doing it in indirect imitation of various biblical writers.
That’ll do me for now. At least until more questions become frequently asked. Cheers.