I can’t begin to say how happy I am to have Sherwood Nation delivered (thanks Eddie!). It’s been a long haul on this book, which I started in earnest during a two month trip to Brazil in 2009, influenced greatly by visiting favelas there. The book was written pretty much entirely in daily short episodes before dawn and has grown much longer than my original conception of it, to officially be, at least word-count-wise, a large book (~500 pages/160k words). I also consider it to be a ‘big book’, at least in my book, but I suppose that’s for the world to determine. I’m also very happy to have yet another book very much on its way (The Voyage, in collaboration with David Naimon) and a fourth in its infancy. Things feel, as they say, to be rolling.
There was a dark period in my writing life after the completion of Couch (~2006) until 2009. Having to do with, in unequal parts, the raising of young children, general artistic malaise, and an interest in other projects. In my 2009 Brazil trip I did a sort of reboot and have kept a disciplined schedule since, turning out, I’m guessing, about a half million words since if you count short stories, rewrites, and work on the novels. While this is certainly way less than many writers, considering how busy my life is I’m very content with the progress.
Sherwood Nation takes place in Portland, Oregon, a town I love. What do they say?: If you love something, first destroy it, and then rebuild it? I’m sure you will hear much more about the book in the coming months.