In Episode 82, JoAnne Tompkins (author of the debut novel What Comes After) shares how her previous career inspired her to write this story, the real-life case that partially inspired the book, and how she wrote a character-driven novel that was also a page turner.
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- How JoAnne’s prior career as a trial lawyer, judicial officer, and mediator inspired her to become a writer.
- The real life case that inspired elements of the story in What Comes After.
- How JoAnne found her agent and the story of her selling What Comes After to Riverhead.
- How JoAnne took her characters on a journey that felt a bit like therapy without them actually going through traditional therapy.
- How she decided to make Isaac a Quaker and her own experience living in a Quaker community.
- What JoAnne did to make What Comes After introspective / character-driven AND a page turner.
- How JoAnne approaches writing (and how that changed over the course of writing this book).
- The most autobiographical part of the book.
- The story behind Rufus, the dog.
JoAnne’s Book Recommendations [30:35]
Two OLD Books She Loves
- Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [30:47]
- Atonement by Ian McEwan | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [33:12]
Two NEW Books She Loves
- What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [35:44]
- A Swim in the Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [39:05]
One Book She DIDN’T LOVE
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
Last 5 Star Book(s) JoAnne Read [47:40]
- Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [47:50]
Other Books Mentioned
- What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins | Buy from Amazon [0:52]
- The New American by Micheline Aharonian Marcom | Buy from Amazon [25:18]
- Amy and Isabelleby Elizabeth Strout | Buy from Amazon [31:37]
- My Name is Lucy Bartonby Elizabeth Strout (My Review) | Buy from Amazon [32:54]
- Anything is Possibleby Elizabeth Strout | Buy from Amazon [32:54]
- Craigslist Confessional by Helena Dea Bala (My Review) | Buy from Amazon [37:42]
- Ben in the World by Doris Lessing | Buy from Amazon [43:48]
- The Pushby Ashley Audrain (My Review) | Buy from Amazon [44:51]
- The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker | Buy from Amazon [45:04]
- A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk | Buy from Amazon [46:23]
JoAnne Tompkins is the author of WHAT COMES AFTER, published April 2021 by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Her first career as a trial lawyer and mediator immersed her in lives disrupted by conflict, injury, and far too often violence and abuse. Yet, she discovered in many a resiliency and passion for life that continues to move her. Her written work explores the small moments that hold the possibility of transformation and for finding grace in life’s darkest times. Her short work has appeared in journals such as High Country News, Lithub, Writer in the World, Stratus: Journal of Arts and Writing. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.
The following week, Susie from Novel Visits will join me for our Summer Reading Special Episode (airing May 12).
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