Jeff Glor talks to Antonio Hill about "The Summer of Dead Toys."
Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?
Antonio Hill: I had two ideas in mind when I was planning "The Summer of Dead Toys." One was to talk a bit about modern families. Family is a social institution that has changed a lot in the last few years, but at the same time, deep feelings for siblings and parents remain the same: love, jealousy, rebellion...The other one was to talk about how hidden secrets tend to get to the surface again with unexpected consequences. And then I had a powerful image in my head: Iris, a 13-year-old girl, drowned in a swimming pool surrounded by broken dolls. It was a perturbing picture, a mysterious death I wanted to solve.
JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?
AH: This was my first novel so it was totally full of surprises. The most impressive was the sensation about the characters: I had thought about them carefully but as soon as they started "speaking" and "acting" in the pages they tended to change, to react differently than I had planned and that made me readjust the plot. The best one, about which I cannot explain many details, had to do with the solution of one of the deaths in the novel. Suddenly I knew that things had to happen in a different but totally sensible way, and that revelation took place while I was getting to the end of the novel. It's something very exciting, a sort of overwhelming knowledge, as if all of the pieces really made perfect sense.
JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?
AH: It's hard to say. I've been a translator for years and I love it. Sometimes I think I'd like to do something that did not take so much time between the beginning of the work and the end. Writing is a very long process and I envy professionals like press photographers who can take one of those unforgettable pictures just by being in the right place at the right time.
JG: What else are you reading right now?
AH: I have just started reading a novel called "Alex," a French crime novel written by Pierre Lemaitre that won one of the Dagger awards this year.
JG: What's next for you?
AH: My next novel, "The Good Suicides," will be going on-sale in the United States next June, and I am about to finish my third Hector Salgado novel, that will be published in Spain next November. So I think I will take a short holiday and read it for the last time before sending it to my Spanish editor at the end of summer and then just relax!
For more on "The Summer of Dead Toys" visit the Random House website.