Monday, October 25, 2010

Toby Ball answers our Top Five

Toby Ball is the author of the new dystopian thriller, The Vaults. Michael Harvey, author of The Third Rail has this to say about it: “If George Orwell and Dashiell Hammett had ever decided to collaborate on a book, they might have come up with something like The Vaults…superbly plotted, stylishly written and entirely unique.” Find out for yourself tomorrow night at 7pm, and read his answers to our Top Five right now.

1. What's on your nightstand right now?

I am reading a great book called The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell. I look forward to my time with it each night. I also have the manuscript for my next book (titled Scorch City) and a signed copy of Jess Walter’s Financial Lives of the Poets, which will be my next read.

2. How do you write?

I work full-time and have a 13 year old son and 5 year old daughter. I essentially write from 8 until 10 each night in whatever peace and quiet I can find. I usually have some sporting event on silently in the background for something to distract me when I take an occasional break from banging on the keys.

3. Name the first time or moment you realized you were a writer.

This is a tough one to answer. There are so many different moments when you feel like you are taking the next step: the first time you sit down to do some creative writing (this could be when you are four or five years old); when you decide that you are going to put forth the effort necessary to write something that you want to have published; the moment when you start working on a second draft – the beginning of the real work; the moment you get your first rejection from an agent; the moment when you get your first offer from an agent; the moment you sign a publishing contract; the moment that first book arrives in the mail. I’m not sure which of these moments was “the moment,” but each was a milestone in its own right.

4. What are you working on now?

I’m working on the third book in the loose series that began with The Vaults.

5. Favorite recent find?

This website has a list of what it considers the greatest magazine articles ever written along with links to each. It is very heavy on the past twenty years or so, but the ones I’ve read so far have been excellent. For starters, David Foster Wallace is consistently great and the two-part article on Mel Lyman was fascinating. Enjoy.

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