Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Author Interview: Curtis Edmonds

Today I would like to welcome Curtis Edmonds to WiLoveBooks. He is the author of Rain on Your Wedding Day which is reviewed here.

About Rain on Your Wedding Day
Will Morse lives alone in a remote cabin in the mountains north of Atlanta, grieving over the loss of two of his daughters and the collapse of his marriage and career.

Over Christmas, Will receives a visit from his only remaining child, his daughter Alicia, who broke off contact with him five years ago. Alicia informs Will that she’s getting married in the spring, and asks him to attend the wedding.

Alicia’s wedding is an opportunity for Will to reconnect with his family and regain part of what he has lost. But Will struggles with his still-raw emotions over his role in his daughter Trixie’s suicide.

Will tries to reach out to the few women in his life to find a date, and makes an unexpected connection with Dorothy Crawford, a writer who shows up at his door, seeking directions. Will develops feelings for Dorothy, but finds that she has secrets of her own.

As the wedding nears, Will must find a way to put the pain and guilt he feels Trixie’s death behind him, weigh the pain he feels at Dorothy’s betrayal with his own need for forgiveness, and pull himself together for his daughter’s sake.

RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY is a poignant, wrenching story about a father’s love, a daughter’s compassion, and the universal need for forgiveness and redemption.

Q&A with Curtis Edmonds

Describe your ideal writing space. How does it compare to reality?

Where I would like to write is on a broad white wicker table in my rooftop garden of my villa on Barbados, looking eastward out to the sea, preferably under an umbrella, with a rum punch close at hand. I'm a long way away from getting to do that (and in reality, I'd probably close up my laptop and head to the beach anyway). Where I do write is on a comfy leather couch in my bedroom, on a cheap laptop, with my wife sitting next to me, watching Castle. It's hardly ideal, or romantic, but it's worked OK so far.

What is the first story you remember writing and what was it about?

The first short story I got published was in McSweeney's. It was about a deer. I was driving home from Trenton to my house in rural New Jersey, and I was crossing the railroad tracks, and there was a deer just standing there on the tracks, It was like the deer was saying to the train, Come and get me, big guy. So I wrote about a deer with a Jersey accent, talking to a psychiatrist about why he trampled people's gardens.

Name a memorable book from your childhood. Why is it memorable?

The only book I have from my childhood that's still sitting on my bookshelf today is The Westing Game, by the late Ellen Raskin. My godmother was a librarian in the school system in Lancaster, Texas, and she always got me the Newbery winners to read. I loved it then because it was a mystery, with puzzles and misdirections and pitfalls and plot twists galore. I love it now because the characters are so fully realized--so many of them could have been stereotypes or throwaways, but Raskin made you empathize with all of them, even the odd and different ones.

If you could ask any writer (living or dead) a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

I would ask George MacDonald Fraser if he had any notes about the Flashman novel that was supposed to be set in the Civil War, and whether or not I would be able to get my hands on them in a quiet and non-dangerous manner. It's the largest gap in the narrative, and Fraser did such a remarkable job of portraying Lincoln in his book about John Brown that I'd love to have seen what he would have done with Lincoln and Flashman in the Civil War. Pity that won't happen now.

If you could pick any of the worlds or characters you have created, which would you want to visit or spend a day with?

I wrote a piece once for McSweeney's about a far-future world where robot cars were a commonplace. I have a long commute, and not a lot of time, and I tend to use my commuting time to sketch out dialogue and characters. If I had a robot car, I could write during my commute, which would be the best thing ever. In the story, the robot car runs over a robot cat, and I'd like to have a robot cat, too, because I like two-week tropical vacations, which aren't compatible with cat ownership.

What is one thing you like to do when you are not reading or writing?

Barbecue! It's barbecue season, finally. I have a gas grill and a smoker and I know how to use both of them, and Costco has decent ribs and brisket. Dry rubs and wood chips and cedar-planked salmon and kabobs all summer long. I'm excited just thinking about it.

What are you currently working on?

RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY is my debut novel, but it's not my first one. I wrote a novel that I had called THE SOURCE OF THE AMAZON about five years ago, but it's more than a little dated and it needs a major upgrade. I am trying to chip away at it, but it's been a slog so far. I am hoping to be able to work on it a bit more consistently over the summer. The new title right this minute is HORSESHOE FALLS, but we'll see if that sticks.

About the Author:
Curtis Edmonds is a writer and attorney living in central New Jersey. His work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Untoward Magazine, Liberty Island, The Big Jewel, Yankee Pot Roast, and National Review Online. His book reviews appear on the Bookreporter website.

Where to find the author:

**WLB review for Rain on Your Wedding Day

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