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Author Podcast: Richard Harvell

abstract:The joy of hearing an author speak (as opposed to merely reading their words) is that you get a feel for many things about them, as people, as speakers, their creative process; the backstory of their novels as it were. Writers can be introspective people who live in a silent world of words. Getting out in front of the public is a part of the book promotion process these days, and inevitably authors develop a style to fit their public persona. They take time before readings to consider the audience when selecting particular excerpts from their books. The interplay between writer and reader can be a rewarding part of their profession. Recently I watched an interview of J. K. Rowling who became emotional when describing a chance street encounter with a girl of about 19 who told her: "Ms Rowling - your books are my childhood. Thank you."

Hearing a writer speak from their own text can be a chilling experience. You get to hear the words that took form and lived in the mind of that writer, often for years before becoming available for public consumption. The writer has agonized over every comma, every transitive verb.

Today's podcast features a reading by Richard Harvell whose novel is titled, The Bells (RandomHouse 2010). "Bells" is getting rave reviews and will likely become Random House's fall blockbuster. It has all the elements of a bestseller. In listening you may pick up on his barely discernible accent. Richard has been living in Switzerland for the past 6 years where his novel is set. The Bells captures European life in the 1200s with incredible nuance of detail.

When I met Richard he was dressed in an open collared shirt and dress pants. He's about 5'6' and slight but fit. His close cropped hair and wire frame glasses speak calculated conservative. As a former math major, it seems natural that he'd be attracted to music - a subject that intuits math and intervals. But Richard claims he is not musical; he leaves that bit to his wife.

This recording was done at the Vancouver Public Library with Hal Wakes of the Vancouver International Writers Festival presiding as co-partner. Support both these institutions by attending their author events. Next up: Alissa York, author of FAUNA.


October 04, 2010

The Interview

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Interview Transcript

Click HERE for audio (6:54 min)

BookBuffet: This is Paula Shackleton podcasting for from the Vancouver Public Library where debut novelist Richard Harvell has been sponsored by the Vancouver International Writers Festival to speak. His novel is titled The Bells and it is published by Random House Canada. We have two excerpts this evening. Richard opens with a telling of the event that inspired The Bells and the reading follows.

RICHARD HARVELL was born in New Hampshire, in the USA, and studied English literature at Dartmouth College. He now lives in Basel, Switzerland, with his wife and children. The Bells is his first novel.

A review by —Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times "Astonishing in its originality, epic in its scope, luminous in its richness, The Bells is a novel to be savored page by glorious page."

Richard Harvell: [transcript in progress]

Check out more BookBuffet podcasts here. Support this website with a donation by clicking on the banner link provided so we may continue to bring you the voices and stories of emerging and established authors.—Thank you



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