The Writer caught up with Goddard MFAW alum Donelle McGee for an interview about his new book, Ghost Man!
Q: What was the impetus to write GHOST MAN?
I wanted to write a book that explored the complexities of addiction with the hope of going deep behind the walls that hold many of us in because we lack the courage to explore why we medicate. And when we have the muster to look at our demons then we are left with choices; do we continue to medicate ourselves to death because the roots are too deep, or do we transcend our vices?
Q: Was the decision of how to structure GHOST MAN obvious?
I read Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down back in 2005 and I thought how cool it would be to write a book in that same style. This idea of collage — jumping between character to character in each chapter. Ghost Man does differ in that Hornby writes in the first-person in his book while Ghost Man is written in the third-person. However, the same structure is in place. There are three main characters in Ghost Man (Julius, Grace, and Veronica) and I wanted to give each the space in the book to share their voice.
Q: How did you find the characters?
Lovely question. I didn’t find them. Their voices found me. I just wrote their words down as they spoke in my heart and in my head. I trusted their narrative.
Donnelle McGee is the author of SHINE, a novella, and NAKED, a collection of poetry. He earned his MFA from Goddard College. He is a faculty member at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. His work has appeared in Controlled Burn, Colere, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Home Planet News, Iodine Poetry Journal, Permafrost, River Oak Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Willard & Maple, among others. His work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.