Q: Jack is used to his mother’s manic behavior, so he quickly goes into survival mode, figuring out ways to get food and coming up with plans to get home before DSS catches on. What kind of research did you do to write this story?

Jennifer: Google Maps helped me outline the plot. I was able to see how far Jack would get each day, and what he would find when he got there. Once I knew what he’d find, I could imagine what he’d eat, where he’d sleep. However, my first draft lacked rich setting. So I visited each place to gather details, details that create a much denser, cinematic experience. I made endless lists and then returned home to weave specifics into the story.

I also read many books on bipolar disorder and elephants. People often ask why Jack is obsessed with elephants and not another animal. I chose elephants because they are so maternal. They almost never leave their young — even when threatened. I wanted that juxtaposition.

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Last-modified: 2021-03-05 (金) 17:23:01 (46d)