'God of Animals' Author Takes Your Questions : The Bryant Park Project Book club: 'God of Animals' author Aryn Kyle takes your questions.
NPR logo 'God of Animals' Author Takes Your Questions

'God of Animals' Author Takes Your Questions

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Simon and Schuster

On this morning's show, Aryn Kyle took questions about her novel — and our April book club selection — The God of Animals.

Kyle says she actually set out to write a different novel, a Victorian-era sprawler. The work wasn't going well. But the characters in her celebrated short story, "Foaling Season," kept coming back to her. The protagonist, middle schooler Alice Winston, demanded her attention.

"The voice of that particular character was so strong," Kyle says. "I never questioned it much."

Determined to turn "Foaling Season" into a novel, Kyle pulled away from friends and family for a couple of years and hammered away. "The writing process is so private and so isolating, and then to suddenly have it out in the world, and all of these people interacting with it and bringing their own things to it — it's a very odd thing to sort of get used to," she says.

These days she's finishing a collection of short stories while she lets the clamor of the novel subside. Those characters were so alive in my head that I really needed some space to sort of get them out," she says. "You know, I don't want to write The God of Animals, Part II."

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