Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My Interview with Author Jerome Charyn and a Giveaway of his New Book

Jerome Charyn, a master of lyrical farce and literary ventriloquism, published his first novel in 1964. A columnist for Charlie Hebdo, and the author of Johnny One-Eye, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, and dozens of other acclaimed novels and nonfiction works, he lives in New York.

Last week I hosted Jerome and included my review of his latest title THE PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF THE COWBOY KING. 

Read my interview with Jerome, below. 

Have any favorite authors influenced your writing? Who were they? 
Emily Dickinson, William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Gabriel García Márquez 

What’s the strangest thing you have ever done in the name of research? 
Attending John Gotti’s trial, trying to stare him down.  He won.

Do you encounter any obstacles in writing? If so, how do you overcome them? 
The greatest obstacle is time.  It takes hours to fall into the music of language and you need those hours.
Do you start with an outline, index cards, etc., or write from the seat of your pants and make it up as you go along?
I start with the music of the first sentence.  If you find that magical first sentence, the novel is already written.

Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time.
I am always writing, even when I am not writing.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?
If you really love to write, don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.

Which book that you’ve read (not one of yours) is the closest to your heart? Why? 
Hamlet.  It has a genuine music of despair.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing.  How about you? 
I revise every line every page every chapter from beginning to end.

If you could be dropped into any book as a character, who would you be and why? 
Hamlet (again.)  Just to hear the beauty of Shakespeare’s music.

What are you reading now?
I am reading a biography of Louise Brooks, my favorite actress.

Do you listen to music when writing or do you need silence?
I need silence.

Describe yourself in one word. 


  1. What a delightful interview - the right questions and answers that make you love reading ever more. Thank you, Diana, this was a delightful stop on the blog tour for Jerome (and for me) -- Lenore Riegel