Episode 527 – Matt Ruff

Virtual Memories Show 527:
Matt Ruff

“There’s not just one Lovecraft Country; there’s really as many as you want to take the time to tell.”

Author Matt Ruff rejoins the show to celebrate his fantastic new book, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS: A Return To Lovecraft Country (Harper). We talk about his reason for doing a sequel to his best-known novel, Lovecraft Country, why he’d love to continue the story for a few more books, and what it means to carry on his characters’ stories. We also get into the experience of seeing Lovecraft Country adapted into an HBO series and how its departure from his book thrilled him, the importance of not letting the present influence his writing of the past (and whether the George Floyd protests influenced his writing of his African-American protagonists this time around), and the many ways he could have died while visiting the Great Dismal Swamp to research for this book. Plus, we discuss screenwriting, the different structure this novel has from its previous one, why the quiet moments of conversation are the most important in the book, whether it’s unfair that it takes him 3-4 years to write a book that takes me 3-4 hours to read/devour, and more. Give it a listen! And go read The Destroyer of Worlds! (And Lovecraft Country!)

(And go listen to our 2017 and 2020 conversations!)

“I love the way fiction lets me play different worldviews off against each other and explore different peoples’ and different cultures’ thoughts from the inside. I take an outsider’s perspective and put it inside, and see what it looks like.”

“With my publisher I tend to need to prove what I have in mind and why it can work.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Matt Ruff is the author of the novels Lovecraft Country; 88 Names; The Mirage; Bad Monkeys; Set This House in Order; Fool on the Hill; and Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Follow Matt on Twitter and go listen to our 2017 and 2020 conversations.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Matt by Lisa Gold. It’s on my instagram.

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