Our guest today: Jon Harrison
Why we want to spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with him: We love a man who can not only write about love but do it well.
His latest: The Banks of Certain Rivers
The scoop on it: Neil Kazenzakis is barely holding his life together: ever since an accident left his wife profoundly disabled, he's been doing his best as a single dad and popular high school teacher. He's also been dealing with Lauren Downey, his sort-of girlfriend of the past two years who's pushing for a commitment—and for Neil to finally tell his son Christopher about their secret relationship.
Neil's carefully balanced world begins to fall apart when some questionable footage of him is anonymously posted to YouTube...just as Chris learns about Lauren in the worst possible way. Doubting his own recollection of the events in the online video as he's threatened with the loss of his job and the ability to care for his wife, Neil must find a way to prove the truth to his family, his community, and himself as he struggles to regain the splintered trust of his son.
Heartbreaking, poignant, and written with devastating humor and warmth, The Banks of Certain Rivers is a shattering story of memory, loss, and just how far a man will go to show the people closest to him the meaning of love.
Our thoughts: Warning: This book is unputdownable.
Giveaway: One e-copy. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, May 12th after 12pm PST.
Fun fact: The fabulous Catherine McKenzie told us about Jon. Thanks, Catherine!
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...7 SECONDS IN HEAVEN WITH...JON HARRISON
1. Liz & Lisa: What’s your favorite book and why? Jon Harrison: There are so many. If I had to pick one novel, I'd say The Sun Also Rises. For all the ugly behavior of its characters, it's really the spring from which all modern fiction flows. I can go back to Raymond Carver's collected poems again and again. Ditto for St. Augustine's Confessions.
2. L&L: What’s the best thing about living in the Rockies? JH: We get all four seasons, sometimes in the same day. Also, the views can be pretty great.
3. L&L: What do you love about running? Does it help your writing? JH: It's nice to be reminded that there can be something just as painful as writing, and that's running. The great thing about it, though, is that after a run I actually feel good instead of filled with the usual dread and self-doubt. So it's a nice break from my writing routine.
4. L&L: Where’s your favorite place to write? JH: I have a wobbly table in my loft on which there are marked-up manuscript pages, sticky note pads, a brass barometer, a volcanic rock from Mt. Fuji, a baseball signed by Fritz Peterson, a faded Mystery Science Theater 3000 mug filled with pens and sharpies, and my laptop. That's my favorite place to write.
5. L&L: What are you reading right now? JH: A fantastic book called The Rider by the Dutch novelist Tim Krabbé. On the surface it's a spare, tight story about a bike race, each kilometer in the race taking a page in the novel, but really it's a profound trip inside this guy's head that blows me away each time I read it.
6. L&L: Where did the inspiration for The Banks of Certain Rivers come from? JH: A while back there was a thing in the news where a bicyclist in New York City was charged with assault for aggressively charging toward a cop. As it turned out, some tourists had filmed the whole thing, and the cop had actually run out into the street and knocked the guy off his bike. It got me thinking about how, with cameras everywhere, things are so thoroughly documented now, and how easily that could be manipulated.
7. L&L: What’s your biggest pet peeve? JH: People who make a big show of writing in coffee shops.