Mainstream author Erica Bauermeister gives readers an insider's look at her new release, Joy for Beginners. Today she chats about the bond that she formed with each of the seven main characters in the tale as she brought them to life for the story.
As the fourth of five deeply idiosyncratic siblings, as someone who has lived in Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, and an ancient walled city in northern Italy, contemplating the world through someone else's point of view has always been a crucial life skill for me. As a result, while many people are interested in the right and wrong of someone's opinions, I have always been more drawn by the why. In college in the 1970s, two of my favorite books were Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury — both tales told through multiple narrators, with sympathy given to every one. I found the structure of those novels to be a mirror for how I saw the world, as a whole constructed of often wildly varying perspectives.