A Discussion With Bestselling Author Tom Franklin discussion

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SMONK

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message 1: by John (new)

John (rjxp) | 1 comments I have to tell you, Mr. Franklin, SMONK is a marvelous character and a great story! Can you speak a bit about the inspiration for the book? Especially, to the invention of that twisted religion? And if Evavangeline was as much fun to create as she was to read about?

Thanks for writing that novel.


message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom Franklin | 10 comments Mod
Dear R. John: Thank you. I'm so happy when people like Smonk. Here's how that book happened to happen: my 3 yr old daughter smelled a dead skunk and asked what it was. We were driving home, one night. I told her it was a skunk and told her what a skunk is and then next day she wanted to be smonks. She'd misheard the word but I liked her mishearing and wrote it down. Bit later I participated in a project called Arts and Letters. A visual artist reads something from a writer and makes a piece of visual art, sculpture, painting, in response. The writer views the art and writes in response to that. Whatever my artist read of my stuff, what he made was amazing: a creepy beer mug that's a man's face, long nose, weird eyes, cigarette, long tongue coming out of his mouth and looping back into his nose (the handle). I put that mug on my computer, named him
Smonk and began to describe all the illnesses he had, and all the weapons, and suddenly I had a weird character. I named him Smonk and then knew his initials were E. and O. and that they stood for Eugene Oregon. He was fun to watch because he could do anything, like one of those cartoon characters who can't ever get hurt, like the roadrunner. And as for Eva., she came along a couple weeks later. I'm in the shower and a line writes itself in my head: "The daughter Smonk didn't know he had's name was Evavangeline." I'd never heard that name before. But I really dug the "had's" in the line. It was a long and twisted subject, with a peculiar and sexy apostrophe out there. I've never had a character easier (or more fun) to write. I just watched as she flew over the pages, surprising and shocking me. I wrote a first draft of Smonk in ten days, averaging 20 pages a day. It was a huge mess, and it took a year and a half and a lot of help from my wife and agent and editor and friends. The weird religion was the last bit I wrote. I let my pal, writer Michael Knight, read an almost-done version. He asked me, "What about that weird town? All those old ladies. What's their story?" I hadn't known until then, and I quickly wrote Snowden Wright's entire story. Thanks for liking this book. TF


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A Discussion With Bestselling Author Tom Franklin

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