The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

October 23, 2009

Visiting author talks about his craft

McGlynn to present at Good Thunder Reading Series

David McGlynn, author of the short story collection, “The End of the Straight and Narrow,” worries about being labeled a Christian writer when he incorporates religion into his stories.

His characters grapple with the decisions they make and the consequences of their actions when it conflicts with their beliefs. The intention, he explains, is to create complex and dynamic characters on the page.

“Religion is the lens through which I strive to see my characters, and to get my characters to see the world,” he says.

A professor of English at Lawrence University, McGlynn doesn’t confine himself to a single category. In addition to work and family life in Appleton, Wis., he’s an avid swimmer and spends time exploring relationships people have between each other and with their faith. These subjects become focal points for a considerable amount of his work.

No matter what his schedule might look like, McGlynn carves out time in his day to write. “I live my life by my routines,” he says. “Routines give order to the world, and they provide comfort.”

McGlynn will be in Mankato Thursday for the next installment of Minnesota State University’s Good Thunder Reading Series.

Here’s more from the author on writing:

Free Press: Disaster, whether natural or biological, appears frequently in your stories, in conjunction with themes of faith, guilt, regret, redemption and desire. When drafting a story, do you develop themes from the subject matter, or do you have a theme in mind and try to find a premise that works to enhance it?

David McGlynn: Always the former, always from the subject matter. In fact, in a number of cases, the disasters got the stories off the ground. I’m connected, in one way or another, to almost all of the disasters in the book.

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