Thursday, July 07, 2022

Q&A with Alan Drew

From my Q&A with Alan Drew, author of The Recruit: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The working title for the novel, going back to 2017, was The Supremacists, but as the book went through the editorial process at Random House, we ultimately landed on The Recruit, which I think feels a little more intimate, a little more personal. The title focuses readers’ attention on the central antagonist in the book, the troubled teenaged boy, Jacob Clay, whose indoctrination into a white supremacist group and the racist violence he commits, drives the plot of the novel. It also suggests, I hope, an exploration of how such a kid can get pulled into a domestic terrorist group, something that was really important to me. The book is a thriller and a police procedural, but creating strong characters is central to my motivation to write, and I wanted to try to understand what might cause a young man—emotionally, socially, infrastructurally—to believe in such hateful ideology strongly enough to take violent action. While the novel takes place in 1987, Jacob Clay could be the Buffalo terrorist or the El Paso murderer, and the lies he believes in the novel are similar to the lies that motivated some QAnon followers to...[read on]
Visit Alan Drew's website.

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Q&A with Alan Drew.

--Marshal Zeringue