What happens when an old college friend has his novel adapted by Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams for an HBO series? You invite him on your podcast, that’s what.
Our guest this week is the writer Matt Ruff, author of seven, very different books. We talk about the craft of writing great characters, the luck involved in getting published, and how to become an overnight success in only 35 years. We dive deep into the creation of characters who are experiencing very different lives and challenges than we are. And we talk about how critical it is now to live with those kinds of characters and learn from them.
Matt's books span the gamut, from speculative fiction, literary fantasy, alternative history and gothic horror. His third book, Set this House in Order, won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for it's incredibly unique exploration of gender. Matt's sixth book, Lovecraft Country, raises the pitch of the horror of racism with a nasty dose of Lovecraftian supernatural horror. That's the book that caught the eye of Jordan Peele.
Set This House in Order changed Charles's notion of the self and, not to put to fine a point on it, this episode completely changed our understanding of racism. We're really curious what you think about it.
Matt’s Ruff’s Website
Risley Hall at Cornell
Matt’s Ruff’s Books @ IndieBound
Matt Ruff’s Books @Amazon
Lovecraft Country Trailer
8cantwait - a campaign to bring immediate change to police departments
Anti-racism resources for white people
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