• A Sudden Light Interior


ballroom-dancingI used to work in the spare bedroom of our house until my wife became pregnant with our third son. Then I had to find my own place. I tried several different situations, but found a home, oddly in the support offices of a local family of pizza restaurants called Tutta Bella Pizza. They had too much space for their needs, so the owner, Joe Fugere, rented out a few cubicles to local freelancers. At first, I found it difficult to work there. People were coming and going all the time and making all sorts of noise. But I trained myself to listen to music while I wrote, and soon I really felt at home there.

I had always been afraid of listening to music while writing. I was afraid it would somehow inform my words. And in some ways it does, which just means I have to be careful of what I’m listening to. When I wrote my play, Brother Jones, I listened to only one album, Life’s Rich Pageant, by R.E.M. With other books, I have had more diversity in my music.

I stayed at Tutta Bella for 7 years. I wrote one complete novel there (The Art of Racing in the Rain), and nearly all of another (A Sudden Light). I now have my own place, but I still listen to music when I write.

From A Sudden Light

p 53

I listened, and I could hear footsteps, like Grandpa Samuel said, coming from somewhere in the house.  I was about to say something, but he hushed me, and then said, “Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can hear music, too.”

 Music featured in, or inspired by, A Sudden Light

  • A Sudden LightSimon & Schuster presents the spellbinding and transcendent new novel by the author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
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