Stewart O'Nan gave me one of the best nights of my life...

Stewart O'Nan gave me one of the best nights of my life. And he doesn't even know it.

I really like his writing. He has written great books in many genres, including non-fiction. One of my favorite books of his is Last NIght at the Lobster.

A few words ago, he was at Wordstock, as was I. There was a pre-Wordstock party at Weiden and Kennedy (the super cool advertising agency behind the Old Spice commercials and many many more). I hoped to meet O'Nan there. The picture on his website was of him in a baseball cap. It was hard to figure out from it what he really looked like. So at the party, I went from person to person, asking if they knew if Stewart was there. I met so many fabulous people. A French filmmaker. Writers of poetry and novels and graphic novels. The guys who supplied the beer. And I even met a Stewart - but it was a different Stewart.

It turns out he wasn't at the party at all.

I would venture to say it's every author's dream to be interviewed by by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. And last night, O'Nan was on.

I loved what he had to say about character:

"As you get all of that material together, you begin to trick yourself into believing in them — because you need to believe in them and care for them before the reader can ever believe in them and care for them. And so you grow closer and closer to them and hold them close to you. When I'm writing, I try to have the mask of my character on as I'm walking through the world. When I'm not at my desk, the rest of the time, I try to stay in that character and see the world the way that character would ... It's almost like method acting in a way — keeping the character close the way the actor keeps a script close and always tries to be in character."

You can read and listen here.



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