SL: I have a question about The Soul Thief. In another interview, you were talking to the interviewer about how it wasn’t as well-received and —


CB: Well go to and see for yourself.


SL: Yeah. It was rated a star lower than the other books you’ve written.


CB: Yeah.


SL: But you said in the interview that you took this as a good sign.


CB: Yeah.


SL: I’m wondering if you can explain that a little bit?


CB: Well, I didn’t write that book to be popular. On the other hand I didn’t write it to be a mind-fuck either. I wrote it because of something that happened to me that I wanted to make sense of. And it’s my most fragmented book. The chapters are very short. The story comes to you not in one long coherent arc but in pieces. And it was fun to write. I had a wonderful time writing that book, for all of the anguish within it. It was very liberating for me to write, and to write it in that style. So sometimes I think when you’re writing you just have to feel, “Okay, maybe they won’t like it, but this is the way it has to get written.”


And when you’re in workshops, when you’re in MFA programs, you sometimes forget it, because you worry how the workshop group is going to react to what you’ve done. And if they hate your stuff, it’s very wounding. You walk out of the workshop room thinking, “My life is over.”