Tuesday, September 15, 2015

M. Tara Crowl

M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Crowl's new novel is Eden's Wish.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Crowl's reply:
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I decided to dive into this after watching the movie The End of the Tour. The movie is based on the true story of a Rolling Stone writer (played by Jesse Eisenberg) joining David Foster Wallace (played by Jason Segel) on the last few stop of his book tour for an interview. Until recently, I’d only been vaguely aware of Infinite Jest as one of those very important pieces of American literature that you’ve got to read at some point. Other than that, I didn’t know much about it. But the way the book’s genius is hyped up in the movie made me really curious.

So far I’m only 10% deep on my Kindle—but so far, so good. (Although, does it need my thumbs up for validation? Probably not.)

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Although I write middle-grade fiction, I actually don’t read a lot of it. However, when I see or hear the kind of fantastic reviews I did for this book, I have to check it out. It’s dark enough and eerie enough to give kids a thrill, and there’s a timeless feel to it. So far, I love it.

Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson

I love Patricia Highsmith’s books, especially the Ripley series. I’ve read them all multiple times. It probably sounds strange, but I would say they’ve been a significant influence on the Eden books. Yes, Eden is a light-hearted 12-year-old genie while Ripley is a cold-blooded sociopathic criminal—but creating suspense is critical for any action-driven story, and Highsmith is masterful at it. She also creates such immersive worlds, and her writing is perfectly spare and precise.

A friend of mine who’s a screenwriter turned me on to Highsmith a few years ago, and I think he’s the one who recommended this biography to me. I knew she was dark, but now I’m starting to understand how dark. She believed that mental abnormalities were beneficial and perhaps even essential for a writer. Reading about her life and being exposed to her thoughts through excerpts from her journals is giving me a whole new perspective on her writing.
Visit M. Tara Crowl's website.

--Marshal Zeringue