James Renner is the author of the great novel : The man from Primrose Lane
My review of L’obsession in french.
Ritual question to start my interviews, can you define you in three words, just three?
Only mostly sane.
The french title of your novel « The man from Primrose Lane » is « the obsession ». Do you find the choice sensible and do you relate to it?
Interestingly enough, I considered « Obsession » as the title to my first book, the nonfiction account of my investigation into the murder of Amy Mihaljevic. So, I think the title is kind of perfect. I understand obsession and it’s something I explore in my stories.
This novel is really impossible to classify. Without spoiling too much on its wonderful intrigue (it would be a crime!), had you from the beginning such an evolution of your story in mind?
I love the idea of pulling a reader into a taut mystery thriller only to have them realize they’ve been reading science fiction the whole time.
That’s what excited me about this story and the challenge was finding a way to pull it off that felt natural.
It seems you particularly wanted to work on your characters’ psychology…
Yeah. Reporting on stories about unsolved murders for seven years had an affect on me. I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Went through therapy. Got medicated. It took me about three years to get back to normal and to feel well again. So it was kind of the old, « write what you know » thing.
The past seems another main theme developed in your novel …
I am fascinated with the way the past effects the present. But I also believe the present can inform the past… I loved the way Lost developed this idea. By breaking up the narrative into different time frames, you can play with foreshadowing and also the reverse of foreshadowing, where you see the effect before the cause. You see how a character develops and wonder about their motivation. It’s fun to make time all jumbled.
Could we know a little more about the movie adaptation of your novel?
Warner Bros has it. Bradley Cooper is attached. And they’ve got a great screenwriter in Chad Feehan. I can’t wait to see what they do with it. I think Bradley Cooper would make a great David Neff. I suspect he has a similar dark side to him.
Do your feel more a writer than a field reporter ?
I’m a storyteller and I enjoy telling stories in any format. Nonfiction, fiction, etc. I’m writing a screenplay right now that’s pretty kickass. Another mystery with a twist.
And I also enjoy the spoken word. I’ve recorded some classic short stories by Poe, which you can listen to on my website.
You’re (like me) a big fan of Stephen King. Could you tell us what he brought you, and about the story linked to your short film?
Stephen King‘s a storyteller. He just wants to tell you a cool story. I started reading his stuff when I was eight. Got hooked. I remember bringing IT into fourth grade. The teacher was a little concerned. Later, I was lucky enough to get the rights to one of his short stories, ALL THAT YOU LOVE WILL BE CARRIED AWAY, which I adapted into a short film which premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2005. That’s how Frank Darabont got his start. I’m in good company.
This blog is made of words and sounds. Is music involved in your creative process?
Oh yes. Music a very important part of my writing process. Certain songs definitely help me focus on the writing. Let’s see. When I wrote OBSESSION, I was listening to a lot of Trent Reznor, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, but also stuff like Rachmaninoff and Beethoven. Great music puts me in the zone and the storytelling becomes easier.
You have the choice between give us your final word or talk about your favorite dessert …
I enjoy Bananas Foster. Any dessert that deals with fire, actually. Fire and Ice. Good and Evil. Nothing says Good and Evil like Bananas Foster.
Catégories :Interviews littéraires