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Dirty Sweet: A Mystery
Thank You! All Categories New Arrivals. Polo Assn. In what ways is he like, and unlike, you? And he got to drive fast. Eddie is a composite of a few people. How important is the setting to the book as a whole? JM: The book takes place in the fall of At first I thought the time and place was hugely important. The specific events could only be Montreal — the French-English divide, the American war resisters, the fanatic interest in the Canada-USSR hockey series, and so on — but really, the specifics could change, it could be the black-white divide in an American city or the Protestant-Catholic divide in Belfast and the fanatic interest in soccer games in Glasgow and the themes would be the same.
So now I just finished the third in the series which takes place in and I think the next one will be set in If I can keep going someday Eddie will be a cynical, old, alcoholic detective. Who are your favorite authors, in or out of that area? JM: Recently I realized that I like to read stories that have insight into people.
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And probably my favourite writer is Alice Munro. One thing I realized lately is that the part of our lives that usually means the difference between happiness and misery is mostly how well we get along with the people closest to us — for guys like us that usually means how well we get along with women. JM: When I was in high school I started fooling around with an 8mm camera and I wanted to be a filmmaker. I tried that for a long time. I think I was intimidated by the idea of writing novel a movie can be saved by great actors, great music, great editing. Every novelist I heard talk was well-read, well-educated and well-travelled and I was none of those things.
That took quite a few years, too, but now I feel that I can tell the stories that interest me with no compromises. And, it turns out, books can be saved by great editing, too.
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I use little things from real people all the time for character. What caused you to look back to fairly recent history in the Dougherty books? JM: Thank you very much. I like those Toronto books, too. I started writing those books because I was fairly new to Toronto and trying to figure it out. I started Dirty Sweet with the idea that people come from all over the world to Toronto for the opportunity to get something going. And some of them are criminals. I was very interested in how the present day characters came to be and that meant I spent a lot of time thinking about their pasts.
JM: When it works.
Not necessarily writers. Filmmakers, other artists, whoever you think has had a major impact on your writing. Do you even wear pants when you write? JM: I do wear pants.
Dirty Sweet by John McFetridge
I have tried almost every way of writing. And a lot of tricks. I heard a guy say once that he treated going to write like going to work and put on a suit and tie and sat at his desk.
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For these novels set in the 70s I make a timeline of actual events and then fit my story, kind of on the fly, into those events. Do you edit as you go? Throw anything into a first draft knowing the hard work is in the revisions?
Something in between? JM: I edit as I go and try to get a pretty clean first draft. But I am conscious all the way through that my editor will help a lot with the revisions.