Thursday, November 27, 2008

Author Interview: William Conescu & Giveaway

Yesterday, I posted a review of a terrific new book called BEING WRITTEN. It truly is a very special book, and I can honestly say that I've never read anything like it! I am so thrilled that the author William Conescu took the time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few questions for me!

Booking Mama: BEING WRITTEN is such a unique idea for a novel -- I've actually never read anything quite like it. How did the idea for this novel come to you?

William Conescu: I was interested in writing about artistically-minded people in their twenties and thirties struggling to figure out how best to live their lives, and then I had this idea for a dark comedy about a minor character who can hear the author’s pencil scratching when other characters are “being written” nearby. There are parallels in these struggles. Daniel is also figuring out what to do with his unique ability and what role he might play in his universe. So I combined the two ideas: Daniel hears a story being written about these artsy twenty/thirty-something-year-olds, and he works his way into their lives and their story and ultimately hijacks their book.

Booking Mama: When you set out to write BEING WRITTEN, did you know the entire story including the ending? Or, did you just have some ideas and start writing? What was your writing process like for this novel?

William Conescu: After writing a few chapters, I realized that BEING WRITTEN wanted to be a suspenseful novel. So I outlined the whole story, and while plenty of things changed along the way, the ending emerged early in the writing process.

Booking Mama: I thought Daniel was pretty crazy, but for some reason I really liked him. Did you know what direction you were going to take with his character from the start?

William Conescu: I knew I wanted Daniel to be the one character who knew he was a character, and I wanted to explore what that knowledge might make a person do and how it might make him feel. There’d be a loneliness to it. It’s not the kind of knowledge you’re going to share with lots of people because, well, it does sound odd.

Booking Mama: I thought it was very different that Daniel's chapters were written in second person. I understand that originally you didn't write his perspective this way. Why did you choose to write Daniel's chapters in second person? Did you ever consider writing them in first person?

William Conescu: Originally, I wrote the entire novel in the third person, but Daniel’s sections didn’t stand out. I hadn’t captured his unique perspective on how the universe works. I did try the first person but almost immediately moved to the second person. The second person can give a sense of a character talking to himself. It works well for a character who has an unusual mindset or who can’t believe he’s in a particular situation.

So the novel alternates between third person chapters that show the perspectives of characters who don’t know they’re in a book and second person chapters that show Daniel’s perception of being written into their story.

Booking Mama: BEING WRITTEN is your first novel but you have written and published some short stories. Which do you prefer writing -- novels or short stories?

William Conescu: I had a great time writing BEING WRITTEN, and at the moment I’m focused on my second novel. But I certainly enjoy writing and reading short stories and will continue to write them, too.

Booking Mama: What are you working on now?

William Conescu: I recently completed a first draft of my next novel. It’s not a work of metafiction, but it has its own flavor of strangeness to it.

Booking Mama: How has your life changed now that you've published a novel?

William Conescu: It’s very exciting to see the novel in bookstores everywhere and to hear from book groups and readers.

The book tour has been great, too. I’ve been to some really cool bookstores and met terrific people. BEING WRITTEN is a fun book to read aloud.
Here’s a YouTube clip from a reading:

Booking Mama: I always ask this question because I think it tells a lot about a person. Who are some of your favorite writers and what are some of your favorite books? What are you reading right now?

William Conescu: My longtime favorite authors are Edith Wharton and Vladimir Nabokov. Some more recent favorites: Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi, David Ebershoff’s The Danish Girl, Diana Spechler’s Who By Fire, Andrew Sean Greer’s The Confessions of Max Tivoli. And I just finished Daniel Wallace’s Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, which was excellent.

A huge thanks goes out to William Conescu for taking the time to answer some of my questions!He has also graciously offered a signed copy of BEING WRITTEN to one lucky reader. To enter the contest, please leave a comment with your e-mail address. If you'd like to double your chances, blog about this contest with a link back here. The contest will be open until Friday, December 12th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winner the next day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canadian mailing addresses only. Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

Great interview. You really have the connections, Julie. I'd love to be entered. milou2ster(at)

Anonymous said...

That book sounds awesome! I wouldn't mind reading it:)


Anonymous said...

Great interview! How do you get so lucky? I read 2 reviews on this book yesterday - yours was one of them. I would love to read this!

shelcows AT gmail DOT com

Bridget said...

I've posted on Win A Book. No need to enter the contest.

Amber said...

Please enter me and thanks for the giveaway!


Sara said...

Please enter me, Thanks!
Sararush at hotmail dot com

Alyce said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! The use of the second person sounds interesting. akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Marie said...

I read about this book a few weeks ago and knew immediately I wanted to read it. It sounds great. Please enter me. Thanks.


donnas said...

This book sounds fascinating. I would love to read it.

Please enter me.


FatalisFortuna said...

This sounds fantastic, I'm an aspiring writer and I love read about characters. :) I'd love to win!

screamingicecube at bellsouth dot net

darbyscloset said...

I like the way he shares about the characters and the book in general wanting to be me another way to approach the blank page!
Thanks so much
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Margay Leah Justice said...

This sounds like a wild story. I'd love a chance at it.

stacey @ bookthirty said...

Great interview, and great review! Thanks for the giveaway.

stacey @ bookthirty said...

argh...for the email in the last post -

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I'd love to win this book!

tanabata said...

This sounds fantastic! I'd love to have my name in for a chance to win.

tanabata2000 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

This sounds great! I love books with a unique perspective. Thanks!

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds lovely!

I'd like to be entered. =]

My Email is: deepikaur24 [at] (gmail) .com

Cheryl said...

Great interview. I love leanring about authors. I now really want to read this book.

clbstitch at yahoo dot com

Carol M said...

This sounds really good! Thank you for the chance two win it!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

Carol M said...

oops! I meant "to win it". lol

Serena said...

I would love to win this book. It has a great perspective. I love how the novel came about and how the character almost immediately lent itself to second person POV.

savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Serena said...

placed your contest in the sidebar of my blog.

Anna said...

Wonderful interview! Sounds like such a unique book. I'd love for you to put my name in the drawing. Thanks!

Diary of an Eccentric

Wrighty said...

I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds really good! It has such an interesting idea. Great review and interview too. Thanks so much for the offer and I'm adding it to my blog.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting sounding book. Great interview too. I'll pick up a copy for my holiday reading.

Sheri S. said...

I'd love to be entered. Thanks!

Jenny Girl said...

Please enter me in this wonderful contest.

Teddy Rose said...

Julie, I loved your review and the interview. Now you have me drooling for this book, so please enter me.

I blogged about it here:


Anonymous said...

Good interview and sounds like an interesting book to read!

Elaine R

Anonymous said...

This sounds like it would be a fun book to read. Please enter me in your giveaway!


Anonymous said...

I'd love to be entered. It sounds great.

djecse at yahoo dot com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I did hear about this book a couple of months ago -- it sounds a bit odd, but fun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

-.- said...

Being Written reminds me of The People of Paper, which was a great book. I'd love to be entered into this contest, I've also left a link of this at my blog. It's off to the side under Giveaway List.

~ Popin

ChristyJan said...

What an interesting interview.
I'd like to be entered

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a one-of-a-kind book and I would love to read it. Great interview, too!!

Asylumgirl said...

Wow, what an unusual book. I would love to win it.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

allire said...

Ohh, sounds cool. :)
Enter me, please.


Jo-Jo said...

This sounds like a very interesting book...please enter me!

Renee G said...

Nice review - please enter me.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds so interesting.. a character in a book. That is an awesome idea.
Anyways, please enter me in teh giveaway. I also blogged about it here:


thebluerose said...

Please enter me.

ttt1612 AT yahoo DOT com

tynlyd said...

I'd love to win!

Anonymous said...

I would love a chance to win. :) My email is

I have also blogged about the contest here:

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book.. i would love to win it.. do enter me!

Luck Happens said...

I love dark comedies...please place my name in the hat to win. Thanks!

kellifrobinson2 AT gmail DOT com

Luck Happens said...

I promoted your giveaway here: