A Few Quick Questions With…Larry Higdon

I’ll be posting about Larry Higdon’s first novel, The Storms of Deliverance, tomorrow (Spoiler: It’ll be positive), but before that, I wanted to post this Q&A that he was kind enough to participate in with me. Kept it short and sweet, because I’d rather he work on his next book than take too much time with me, y’know?

Why don’t you start by giving me the elevator pitch for this book.
(Warning: His answer reveals a little more than I’d want to know about the book before reading it)
           A former baseball player, who has wasted his life through alcoholism and violence, seeks to win back his ex-wife and daughter. On this quest he suffers a traumatic experience, a bout of amnesia, and encounters with supernatural phenomena. He emerges from these experiences a better man with at least a chance of realizing his dream of reuniting his family.
What prompted this particular story? What was the genesis of the book?
           Most of my life I had three or four scenes in my head that didn’t seem to connect with each other. Then all of a sudden they did, and I decided to try to put them together in a novel.

Just a great answer

In the writing of Storms, what was the biggest surprise about the writing itself? Either, “I can’t believe X is so easy!” or “If I had known Y was going to be so hard, I’d have skipped this and watched more TV”.
           This novel wrote itself. I felt as though I were taking dictation. Of course, when the editors got involved, the work became more like work.
Describe some your influences (whether or not you think they’re on display in Storms).
           I had given up writing–sick and tired of rejection slips. One Christmas my niece, who is also a writer, gave me a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. That plus King’s novels have influenced me. Some wags might say that I kill off children because King often does so, but that’s not true. That was one of those scenes in my head.
So, it’s been a few years since the publication of Storms — is there more on the way?
           The sequel should be published this year. It’s called The School from Hell. Johnson’s ex Katy narrates it. She’s assigned as a counselor to a high poverty elementary school. Johnson, Zoe, McBroom, and Ellen all make appearances.

This is about as far from the answer I’d have guessed at/hoped for as you could imagine. And I’m really looking forward to this sequel.

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