DePoy's latest novel is A Prisoner in Malta, the first book in a new mystery series featuring Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare's contemporary and Queen Elizabeth's man behind the throne.
Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I can’t read fiction when I’m working on one of my own books—it’s too confusing or, more often, intimidating. When I made the mistake of reading the first page of The Poisonwood Bible, it took me six weeks to recover. Six weeks of considering other careers--plumbing or fish-mongering. So I’m happily reading two non-fiction books at the same time right now. Brian Walker’s Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu, and Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life—the subtitle of which is “Not a Novel.”Learn more about the book and author at Phillip DePoy's website.
The Hua Hu Ching is a sort of companion book to the Tao Te Ching, arguably the oldest philosophical book in the world. A very valuable idea I get from that book is the notion that I ought to try to link my individual mind with the universal mind. That’s exactly what I think happens when I write, when I’m in the middle of the process of writing: it’s no me writing at all, it’s something else.
The Proust book elucidates In Search of Lost Time (usually translated, of course, as Remembrance of Things Past). From that book I glean a certain understanding of the great beauty in taking a long time to examine everything. Opening a door is an opportunity to examine every conceivable aspect of a door knob—in Proust’s case, for fourteen pages. It’s the opposite of what I think I’m supposed to do as a writer, so that’s good for me to hear too.
The Page 69 Test: A Prisoner in Malta.
My Book, The Movie: A Prisoner in Malta.