Ca' delle Ombre ha intervistato per voi il grande scrittore horror americano Jack Ketchum, Autore del miglior romanzo di genere pubblicato nel 2009 in Italia, lo straordinario "La ragazza della porta accanto"... Buona lettura ;D
CdO: Hello, Jack, and thanks for your willingness to do this interview. La ragazza della porta accanto has become a small literary event among italian fans of horror / noir literature. Are you happy with how your novel has been accepted in Italy?
Very happy. I’d like this story to be read by as many people as possible, in as many countries as possible. It just came out in China -- all of which is very gratifying.
CdO: La ragazza della porta accanto is a hard book, difficult to read to the contexts and situations that present, but at the same time, it is impossible to remove. You seem to know exactly which invisible buttons to touch, mind and feeling of your readers, to always maintain the highest attention and not lose the grip on them. Your knowledge of Evil, which meanders and is the protagonist of your novel, is only theoretical, ideal, or have you done in some way, experience?
A fiction-writer’s main tools are imagination and empathy, I think. I’ve never experienced anything like the level of evil depicted in The Girl Next Door but having lived in this world a long time, I’ve seen countless interviews with the wounded and their predators, heard and read countless stories. So I imagine and I empathize and the degree to which I’m successful depends entirely on how well and deeply I do so.
CdO: How can a writer do so much harm to her creature (Meg in this case) and keep a straight face? You have not suffered with her during the writing of the novel?
Of course I suffered. That’s where the empathy comes in. You have to live the fiction while you’re writing it. You can’t make someone else laugh unless you laugh first. You can’t make them cry unless you bring yourself to tears as well.
CdO: Ruth deserved a worse end of what did you do after all the pain he has caused. The reader really comes to hate her, death would have to come more slowly, excruciatingly, in line with the no mercy that prevails throughout the story, is not it?
I tried to make this story as realistic as possible. To torture Ruth might provide the reader some satisfaction, but it would be at the expense of realism. What’s a young boy to do against an adult? Push her down the stairs.
CdO: If you had written in this time, right in 2010, this your novel, would have been much different (apart from the context and environment)?
I don’t think so. I’m happy with the book exactly as it is.
CdO: Read The Girl Next Door, to me, is like attending a series of sessions of psychoanalysis, moving blocks inside that the reader had forgotten to possess. We paid like a glove, and not always pleasant. Your novel like but it’s not pleasant. Your writing has a touch of the demonic, you’re aware?
I’ll take that as a compliment. Thanks!
CdO: We will have the pleasure to meet you in person, in Italy, soon?
I hope so. My trips to Italy have all been very fine and I’ve felt very welcome there.
CdO: The interview is over. Really thank you very much, Jack, for your exquisite availability. Want to leave a greeting to the readers of my blog, Ca’ delle Ombre?
Be good to your neighbors, your cats and dogs, and yourselves.
(Interview by Domenico Nigro)