R+P is happy to host Madeline McDonnell's NBT interview in which she discusses her new novella/lexicographic experiment, Penny, n., to be released by Rescue later this spring. Stop by Rescue's table at AWP to pick up an early copy and then join us Thursday night at The Harvard Advocate's Sanctum to see Madeline read as part of this amazing line-up.
What is the working title of the book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I don't know!? I wrote the first draft so long ago (my fertility had not even begun to wane!)—where did I get any of my ideas back in those hopeful, hopeless days? Where did I get the idea, for example, that I'd teach my cheap boyfriend not to be so cheap by buying us a miniscule $30 bed with a broken spring—a miniscule $30 bed with a broken spring that I, too, would have to sleep on for the next five years? Where did I get the idea that gummy bears and Chablis make a “nice pairing”? (Obviously, gummy worms would have more effectively brought out the flinty notes!)
What genre does your book fall under?
Fiction. Lexicography. Suicide Note. (Just kidding, Mom!)
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Obviously, Katie Holmes would play Penny, and Tom Cruise would play her depressive and manic lexicographer*-lover, Guy. Suri Cruise would—duh!—play Penny's hallucinatory child**. In the final section, which takes place at the wedding of Penny's childhood friend, Bridey, several other stars would make brief but crucial appearances: Nicole Kidman as Bridey; Keith Urban as Brent, the software engineer Bridey marries; and Mimi Rogers as Moira, a bridesmaid. Meanwhile, the casts of Dawson's Creek and Top Gun would feature in the background as extras/wedding guests. (Thus, a new strain of tragedy would play through the final scenes each time Penny and Pacey shared the frame without acknowledging each other or their fated love.)
*Don't worry. He would wear glasses. **Her fertility is waning. She fantasizes.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
People should not talk to each other.
How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Four to six months?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might peak the reader's interest?
It has wild, beautiful, and hilarious illustrations by Benjamin Mackey, not to mention the most elegant design in the history of man- and designkind, conceived by the most elegant young man in the history of youngmankind, Sevy Perez.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be rescued by Rescue Press!