THE THUNDER OF GIANTS by Joel Fishbane (St. Martin’s Press; April 14): From Canadian novelist and playwright JoelFishbane, comes the extraordinary, out-of-this-world tale of The Thunder of Giants. Nearly 8-feet tall and hoping to build a better life for her children, Andorra Kelsey escapes to Hollywood to star in a film about Anna Swan, the giantess who toured the world as part of P.T. Barnum’s American Museum decades earlier. Their stories parallel each other as both women struggle to find tranquility in a world that sees them as anything but human. Anna and Andorra long for normalcy, but first must tackle the society that is too small to contain them. Will Anna and Andorra find love and peace? Will society see them as more than the mere sum of their measurements? This story, with its underlying themes of the ever-present issues of body image in society, captivated my heart and blew me away.
JOEL FISHBANE is a novelist, playwright, sous-chef, actor, trivia host, amateur boxer, occasional clarinet player and general man about town. His various plays, short stories, articles, critiques and literary musings have been published, performed, honored, and otherwise applauded in Canada, the United States and Europe. He lives in Toronto and almost always wears a hat. For more information, visit www.joelfishbane.com
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. Usually reading non-fiction. It exposes me to worlds, events, and ideas which I don’t encounter in my day to day life. On the other hand, reading really good fiction writers inspires me to. I suppose the first inspires me by telling me what to write while the second provides suggestions on how to go about doing it.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an writer?
A. The fact that my work will go into the world and have a life of its own that has nothing to do with me. I love that I never know who’s reading my work – or how my work might inspire them just as the work of others has inspired me.
Q. What is the toughest part of being an writer?
A. That no one is asking you to be one. Seriously. You always hear about how we need more doctors. But no one says “What we really need is more novelists.” In the beginning, the only person who really wants you to be a writer is you, which is why it’s good to get people reading your stuff ASAP. The sooner people support you, the easier it’ll be, especially if those people are you parents – paper and ink are expensive.
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Musical theatre superstar. Unless I’m limited by my current talents / abilities, in which case I’d just be a regular theatre superstar. My dancing needs a lot of work.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. The title isn’t important, but if it’s not a musical, then someone really hasn’t done their research.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Rob Fleming from “High Fidelity.”
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. Well, there’s a little of me in all my characters, but I’d say Nicholas (Andorra’s husband) is a not-so-disguised version of me. Except I’m a Mets fan and when I was in Henry V, I did not get a bad review. (I didn’t get a good review either. The exact quote was “Joel Fishbane makes a strong impression as the wily Pistol” – which sort of left things open to interpretation.)
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. The answer I want you to print: One Hundred Years of Solitude
The answer I want to say: The Hotel New Hampshire
The real answer: The Cat in the Hat.
Q. What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?
A. As the author of several books, one of which students are forced to read and so initially loathe it because they have to write essays about it but eventually, later in life, they go back to it and realize it was a pretty good book after all.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Autumn. I look really good in a sweater.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. While I love the cover design for my book, I actually prefer book covers that have no picture – just the title and the author’s name. That being said, I love this cover for “Love in the Time of Cholera” because it’s very arresting and enigmatic – as you read the book, you can keep going back to the cover and find you interpret it in different ways.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. Just started promoting the book, so nothing funny has happened yet. But I’m sure at some point I’ll get hit in the face with a pie. It’s really just a matter of time.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Always. I’m finishing my next book and researching my third. Naturally, I can’t tell you anything about it, other than the story is brilliant and the spelling is pretty good.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. "I am completely indifferent to what is written about me. I only get upset when they don't write" - Sergei Dovlatov