I’ve done a few readings over the past two weeks in support of The Saturday Boy’s release and one question that tends to come up during the Q&A is, how did the book come about? Well I’ll tell you. The Saturday Boy began as a writing assignment. I forget what the assignment was, specifcally, but I remember that the image of a little boy standing alone in the rain just popped into my head and I started writing. When I was finished, I had what I thought was a solid little, self-contained story. My teacher disagreed. My teacher told me that it felt more like the first chapter of something and turned out she was right. The first chapter of The Saturday Boy is pretty much the entire solid little, self-contained story i turned in to my teacher all those years ago. Except in the original, Derek was thinking about karate guys instead of superheroes.
Anyway. I took what she’d said to heart and started to write a longer piece with no idea of where I was going or how I would get there. It was during this time that a lot of the lasting details first came up–his dad being away at war, for one, and his love of comic books. It wasn’t until years later when I was participating in a writing workshop offered by Grub Street here in Boston when it all came together..
Stories never come to me all at once. More often than not, a sentence will worm its way into my head that I just can’t shake. For example, “So, in a way, the horrible thing that happened to Bobby McEldowney is that nothing happened at all.” has been in my head for years. I think it’d be a great last line of a story. I just need to put words in front of it. A lot of them.