Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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October 1, 2007 |
Post to the Host:
I just finished Pontoon and enjoyed it immensely. My husband and I saw your one man show this past year when you came to Columbus, Ohio (loved that as well). The book seems to be based on that show. When did you decide to write the book? Sort of like the chicken and the egg question. Which came first? Or was it somewhere in the middle? Just curious how the creative process works.
Pontoon started with a story on the radio show years ago about 26 Lutheran ministers piling onto an 18-foot pontoon boat, which people enjoyed, and so I worked it up into a longer monologue, which I did in the one-man dog-and-pony show. The monologue grew and grew until it got to be 90 minutes long and then it dawned on me that it was all in my head and I had no record of it at all. Also, the stage version, while it worked well onstage, was missing the sort of shading and interior voices that could only be done in prose fiction form. So I started writing it out as a story and found it satisfying to flesh out the character of Evelyn and her lover Raoul and her daughter Barbara and her son Kyle. I had to rein it in lest it turn into a soapy epic I love that short comic form, maybe because I was a big fan of Wodehouse back in junior high school. But that, in a nutshell, is how the book came to be.