An interview with Jax Miller about his book :
Freedom’s Child (Les infâmes, in french).
Ritual question to start my interviews, can you define you in three words, just three?
Impulsive. Passionate. Adaptable.
This is your first novel, who are you Jax Miller?
I’m just a woman who wrote a book because I needed a way to grieve, needed a distraction from real life.
I’m certain of who I used to be and who I want to be, but I’m stuck in between, constantly changing to become a better person. Writing helps me as I try to figure out who exactly I am today.
Your novel is published in parallel in several countries, in English and French. It is a rare approach and this proves that your French publisher strongly believes in this novel …
I’m very fortunate that the novel has gained the attention and approval of publishers world wide, it’s a very wild and surreal thing.
It makes me so happy to know that other people love Freedom Oliver just as much as I did when writing her.
I find that although it is your first novel, you were able to find your style. Does it been a long time that this novel is circulating in your head?
I think the style seems different because I didn’t follow the rules that many follow, but rather, I just wrote like I think in my head, I spoke the way I speak every day.
It also bears mentioning that I wrote a novel the way I wanted to see it on the big screen. It may be blasphemous, but I truly have more of a passion in film than in books.
I didn’t have any plans for this novel or the plot, I only created the characters to keep me company while I travelled around America on the back of a motorcycle.
The characters really led the way so that when they were surprised, I was genuinely surprised.
Freedom Oliver is a really remarkable character of incredible strength as well as deeply vulnerable …
Freedom is a fictionalized version of me during that particular time in my life, a period that required both strength and vulnerability. Freedom is a multi-layered woman who just needed to find some purpose in her life, find that reason to live.
I think she can speak for many women out there who feel a little lost, but I think she can also give a little hope when we feel like we’re at the end of our rope.
With this black novel, you touch the sensitive issue of maternal love …
This was the main obstacle in my life I was facing when writing, and I think it came through on paper the strongest: Freedom and I are both women who continuously grieve the children we put up for adoption.
We are judged, we’re misunderstood, we’re alone for the ride, lost, riddled with self-hatred and grief. In writing this character, I think I just needed someone to share this confusing pain with, and she became my closest friend.
In a weird way that probably sounds crazy to non-writers, Freedom was my closest friend.
You have managed to build a very dark story but also deeply human. You have attached great importance to the psychological aspect of your characters …
I think most of us have seen some pretty dark corners of life, and it’s easy to forget that we’re all human.
I really wanted to paint horrifying people, maybe the kind some of us have met, while building a little sympathy into them. We’re not born villains… I think the human race is inherently good, some just lose their way.
This story is a painting without concession of some of the inhabitants of the southern United States, among alcoholics, religious fanatics and other degenerate …
Being a person who has always moved around a lot and a product of American culture, these kinds of people are not so outrageous to me. I’ve heard some people say “cliché,” but I contend that clichés don’t make it any less true.
I’ve met (more so than none) some wonderful people while living in the south, and as a culture, they can be incredibly hospitable and kind. But I’ve also lived a lot of my life in the south (as a New Yorker) and have seen firsthand a lot of the seedy types of people that are discussed in Freedom’s Child.
I’ve known meth-heads and prostitutes and religious fanatics (just as much in the north as in the south). In my experiences, they’ve mostly been good people at heart, just some have lost their way (and who hasn’t?).
This story is full of surprises. Did you clearly planned every twist or did you let you carry by the plot?
My characters led the way, a hundred percent. I was just as surprised (and proud) in the twists as the characters were.
Although, I’m a writer who always has to have the last chapter in my head before I even start, so that when I do start I can better steer the story without going off on too many wild tangents.
So with the exception of that very last scene, the twists and turns are unplanned surprises.
You have the choice between giving us your final word or talking about your favorite dessert…
Let’s go with my favorite dessert (even though I’m currently on a diet and doing so just might be torture) LOL.
I get a little tired of talking about the book. But I do love me some baklava! I just have a hard time finding it here in Ireland. It’s flaky, it’s sticky, it’s a bite of pure heaven on your tongue.
Catégories :Interviews littéraires