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"The Woman Who Died a Lot," by Jasper Fforde

Penguin Group
The Woman Who Died a Lot, Jasper Fforde
Penguin Group

Jeff Glor talks to Jasper Fforde about "The Woman Who Died a Lot."

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Jasper Fforde: 'The Woman Who Died a Lot' is the seventh in the long running 'Thursday Next' series, and was, to be honest, chosen to write as I had only six months in which to write it - and since I know the characters and situations intimately, there is no complex 'world building' to get in the way. I simply placed my protagonist on a train going into town with her husband and started from there - why were they going in? Who would they meet there? And because there were a lot of unfinished or as-yet unresolved plot points from previous books, we just carried on as if we'd never left them.


JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

JF: I think just how well I knew everyone - it was as if I'd been away for a year from home, and I walked back into a room full of friends and relations, and they all just told me what was happening - sometimes writing becomes less like writing and more like channeling - once you've set up several characters and then place them in a room together, there can be only a few ways in which the story can go. Books, especially series ones, begin to have a life of their own..


JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

JF: Easy! An amateur writer. I wrote seven books in 11 years before I was published, and that was 12 years ago. So I guess right now I'd be doing the old job - in the film biz - but with, ooh, let's see -14 unpublished books on my hard drive. The point about this is that writers write. They do it because they really can't stop. It's a passion.


JG: What else are you reading right now?

JF: A selection of books for the 2012 Welsh English-language book of the year, courtesy of Literature Wales. This is a huge honor for me, and a wonderful opportunity to read books of a subject matter that I would not ordinarily attempt.


JG: What's next for you?

JF: In the long term, death and obscurity. In the shorter term, more books - I'm currently writing the third in my YA trilogy called 'The Last Dragonslayer' about an off-kilter look at sorcery and dragons, and after that, a standalone I've been tinkering with for a few years. In the even shorter term, I might go and make myself a cup of tea. It's an exciting time.


For more on "The Woman Who Died a Lot," visit the Penguin Group website.