Friday, December 14, 2012

Louise Erdrich - How I Write

She discusses it with the Daily Beast, here.

From the post...

What draws you to setting several of your works in the Dakotas, among Native Americans?
I grew up in North Dakota around Dakota and Ojibwe people, and also small town people in Wahpeton. Writers make few choices, really, about their material. We have to write about what comes naturally and what interests us—so I do. I also write about Germans in Minnesota and have set The Antelope Wife in Minneapolis. Nothing I force myself to write about ever turns out well and so I’ve learned to wait for the voice, the incident, the image that reverberates.
You are one of the rare authors who own independent bookstores (Birchbark Books). What prompted you to do so and what have you learned from running it?
Here are the lessons: get a business plan. Get a book person as a partner. Have a philosophy. Specialize to some degree. Make sure the rent won’t kill your enterprise. Stay meticulously true to your own design principles—since mine are all about visual promiscuity it was easy. The place is composed of salvage wood and some distressed easy chairs. There is a confessional in the bookstore and the main table was made out of a sailboat by a friend. A handmade wooden canoe is suspended above it. The front door is the perfect shade of blue. Our online presence is strong. Our dogs recommend our books. We have a wonderful buyer who manages and created our web site. Check out Nathan Pederson’s work.

No comments: