Claire Zulkey interviews Joshua Ferris, debut author of a book about working in an ad agency at the tail end of the dot-com boom. Two answers make us notice:
How, when and why did you begin writing the book?
The How: with Pilot pens and a Rhodia pad, 5×5, No. 38. The when: March 2002 – September 2003 & March 2005 – June 2005. The why: because we work and we work and we work, and yet write very little about it.
Did you have a system, when you were working on the book, for keeping track of all the characters?
On the final, cardboard page of that Rhodia notepad, I wrote out all the names of all the characters. When I needed to reference them I turned to that page and saw who was in my virtual office. I learned about the characters much as I suspect the reader learns about them — very slowly at first. Then, after a tipping point, they clicked into place for me and I no longer needed to reference the back page. Hopefully they click into place for the reader in much the same way.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Thanks, Leah & Karen.
The official book site is here