Q & A with Ron Currie Jr.

Ron Currie Jr. is the author of God is Dead, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and Everything Matters!, an Indie Next Pick in 2009. His new book Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles comes out next week. I had a chance to ask the author some questions about his writing, and I am pleased to present his answers:

Everything Matters! has an alternate ending, one of any number of possible variations. How did you determine which versions of the story to tell?

Well as you point out, the way I set the story up it could have had literally an infinite number of conclusions. Seeing as how I don’t have the stamina to write a never-ending book, though, I had to settle on one–or two, as it were. What made sense, given that I was going to write two endings, was for them to be pretty much the exact opposite of each other. So that’s what I did. Then, of course, in the second ending is the real payoff for the reader, I think, in which Junior finally understands all the very difficult lessons life has been hitting him over the head with, and makes use of that understanding. It had to be that way. Anything else would have been a deus ex machina. 

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles tells the Truth about the inspiration for the characters in Everything Matters!; what made you decide to revisit the characters’ backgrounds?

It wasn’t a decision so much as a compulsion. I wrote another, very different novel first, and it wasn’t working no matter how hard I tried to make it work, and I couldn’t figure out why. Once I hit on the idea of writing FLPM, and wrote the first few pages, I noticed a subtle but definitive shift in the feel of the writing, and I knew that I’d finally stumbled into the place where I needed to be.

Should the two books be considered variations on the same theme?

Once I was critiquing a short story by a very good, very wise writer friend of mine, and I chided her gently for returning over and over again to the same topics. True to both her intelligence and her gentle nature, she responded with a gentle admonition of her own, one that absolutely echoed with the truth: As writers, we all have our obsessive themes, is what she told me.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles please leave a comment on this post. The winner will be selected one week from today.

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98 Responses to “Q & A with Ron Currie Jr.”

  1. Great interview. It is always nice to hear a little bit about how a story got written. I am currently reading Everything Matters. I also have Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles on my to read list. 🙂

  2. Hadn’t heard of (either of) the books before today, and now they’re moved to top of the “next book to read” list … Thanks!

  3. Thanks for letting me know about this and your great site. I look forward to reading lots of articles here in the future!

  4. Michelle Hoskisson Says:

    Enjoyed reading the interview.I cannot wait to get a copy of his new book. Everything Matters! Is one of my favorite books and I’ve re-read it three time’s now:)

  5. I hadn’t realized FLPM and EM! were related, story-wise. Thanks! Now I’m ever more eager to read it!

  6. Daniel Wells Says:

    Great interview! Loved his anecdote about writers’ obsessive themes. Really excited to read FLPM.

  7. I really enjoyed Everything Matters!, would love to check out this new book. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for clueing me into the giveaway – I’d love to snag a copy!!

  9. Stacy Eddings Says:

    I loved Everything Matters! and can’t wait to read FLPM. After reading this interview, I realize I will probably want to go back and read Everything Matters! again when I finish FLPM. Thank you!

  10. Karen Stromberg Says:

    The Washington Post gave it a good review so I added it to my “want-to-read” list. Thanks for the chance to win.

  11. I agree with the other posters–knowing that this book ties back to Everything Matters makes me want to read it even more! The final scene (of EM) is really a touchstone for me in my life. Every time my husband, both kids and the cat are all cuddled in bed with me (often) I think of the title of that book and its significance.

  12. Loved Everything Matters! Looking forward to the new book!

  13. Great interview. I’m really excited to read the book.

  14. Great little interview! I loved Everything Matters!- thought it was brilliant and engaging, and am eagerly anticipating getting my hands on Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles.

  15. Thanks for reaching out, JA! Nice work here.

  16. Wendy Kinsey Says:

    Great Interview. Thank you for letting me know about the give away. Now I am really excited to read the book.

  17. I debated about reading Everything Matters! and was glad I finally took the plunge. I am excited to read Currie’s newest novel and its story-within-a-story.

  18. Meg Roberts Says:

    Thanks for letting me know about this Website! God Is Dead is one of my favorite books, and I can’t wait to read his other works. Very interesting interview.

  19. I had read about “Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles” and have it on my GoodReads “to read” list, but didn’t realize that it was connected to “Everything Matters!” until this post. I’m glad I know that now so I can read both. Looking forward to completing both of these books now. Thanks!

  20. Andy Gratton Says:

    Thanks for letting me know! I would love to get this book!

  21. Wait, it’s related to EM!? As if I needed another reason to read it.

  22. Everything matters is one of my all time favorite books… Definitely the best I’ve read in the last 5 years. I’m dying to read his latest!

  23. Looking forward to this book…and Everything Matters now as well!

  24. I loved reading the insights from the author—I didn’t know about Everything Matters! but I’m eager to check that one out too now. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your site and for the great giveaway!

  25. Definitely on my to read list! Did a lot of novels this year but so many great collections I need to get to this year! Great interview =)

  26. Thanks for the heads up – I would love to win a copy of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles!

  27. Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway, and great interview!

  28. Lauren Stoolfire Says:

    Interesting interview! Thanks for letting me know about this giveaway through Goodreads. 🙂

  29. Great interview, and love the site. Found a new place for a weekly browse! I’d love to win the book.

  30. Everything Matters! was a quick, lovely read — I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very much looking forward to reading FLPM!

  31. I would love to win a copy of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles!! Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway!!

    – Ali

  32. Ha– “stumbling” to the places we need to be as writers is familiar & true. I love that no matter how much I do, it always feels like groping in the dark in a certain sense. Great interview. Thanks.

  33. Very good Q & A! I would like to enter to win a copy 🙂

  34. I am so excited to read this. He is such as interesting writer. Would love to win a copy!

  35. Ron is the real deal, nothing flimsy or plastic about him 🙂 Ever since I read that first story that would end up in (or basis for?) God is Dead in The Sun, I knew that. No matter whether I win a copy or not, I’m buying this bad boy.

  36. I am going to add Everything Matters to my reading list. Thanks for the interview.

  37. Nice interview. Haven’t read Everything Matters but would love to read both of these books. Thanks for inviting me to your giveaway :).

  38. Melissa Thrasher Says:

    Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway! I look forward to reading Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, and now I also have another book or two to add to my to-read pile 🙂

  39. Artists tend to return to the same themes over and over. I used to worry about being too repetitive, but it’s best to let creativity freely flow.

  40. Looking forward to reading this book after I win it! Bam!

  41. id love to read a copy! thank you

  42. I was already excited about this book, but now that I know it’s directly related to Everything Matters! (which was great), I’m even more intrigued.

  43. Krysi Joseph Says:

    I would LOVE a chance to win this book! I hadn’t heard about either book until stumbling upon it’s giveaway page the other day. after reading the interview, your blog, and other peoples reviews on this book, I am very interested in reading it! I will definitely have to check out Everything Matters! as well. I can’t wait to read them! thanks for the chance to win 😀

  44. Thank you for including me!

  45. I work at a library and although I’m totally OCD with my book reading order (i like to plan ahead to avoid that post book void) so as I was shelving one day I saw Everything Matters! and after reading the summary I knew I had to read that book. I have been going through an existential sort of crisis so it was like an answer to my question. I love being able to read a fictional account of someone’s seemingly similar wonderings. It was a little different than what I thought but I loved the writing and can’t wait to read more.

  46. I’ve been awed by Ron’s writing for years and look forward to reading FPLM.

  47. loved God Is Dead and Everything Matters! and am very much looking forward to FLPM.

  48. great book video! I can’t wait to read this book!

  49. missbaileyhumes Says:

    I’d absolutely LOVE to read this book!! Can’t wait for the results!

  50. annabelsmith Says:

    I remember the writer Lily Brett complaining that people often ask her “When are you going to stop writing about the Holocaust?’. I think it’s absolutely true that all writers have their obsessions – some deep psychic territory that they need to keep revisiting.

  51. I would very much like to read this book…….

  52. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. It sounds so fascinating!

  53. Thanks for referring me to your blog! I am quite excited to read FPLM.

  54. I have not read either book yet, but am intrigued by the premise of ‘Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles’. Can’t wait to read it!

  55. Great interview 🙂 Thank you for the chance to win the book 🙂

  56. Ron Currie is the rare author that can actually make you examine the world in a new, unpredictable way then leave you realizing you have found truths that were previously buried inside all along. I am looking forward to discovering new insights from his new book…

  57. Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway – I look forward to reading this book & checking out more of your blog!

  58. Was very pleased to be directed to your site. I look forward to reading more than this interview, and a review of the book Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles. I’d appreciate being mired in the mix for a possible copy of this, what sounds like, delightful book!

  59. Loved Everything Matters! Also loved God Is Dead. Really looking forward to FLPM!

  60. Thanks so much for giving me the heads up about the giveaway! I’d definitely love a chance to win your book! It sounds interesting!!

  61. Nina Robertson Says:

    I enjoyed reading this interview so much that I have decided to visit the local bookstore to find the aforementioned books by the author. I am looking forward to reading more!

  62. This sounds like a very interesting book!

  63. Doug Slith Says:

    I loved the interview. His comment about obsessive themes was interesting. I like that take on it.

  64. Thanks for letting me know about this giveaway! I can’t wait to read this book 🙂

  65. Tonya Moore Says:

    I would love to win a copy of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles. I am currently reading Everything Matters and look forward to this book.

  66. Thanks for the heads up on your giveaway and glad to be introduced to another blog.

  67. Your site is great! I’d love to win and read a copy of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles! Thanks for letting me know about this and your blog.

  68. Great feature! I really enjoyed these two posts.

  69. Marsha Thalleen Says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win> I would very much like to read both books. And I ❤ book blogs, so thanks for the link. Happy Valentines Day!

  70. I read Everything Matters! and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles as well!

  71. I enjoyed the interview and appreciate the story you shared about acknowledging and honoring obsessive themes. I look forward to reading FLPM whether I win a copy or not. Thanks for this opportunity.

  72. I haven’t read Everything Matters! yet but am very interested to read both books!

  73. I really enjoyed the previous two books and even bought them as gifts for family and friends. I’m glad to see he’s still churning out good books and hope to read the new one soon. Thanks for the Q&A!

  74. Great interview! Would love to read the book.

  75. Sounds really interesting. Fingers crossed for international shipping!

  76. It was great to catch this interview! I’ve definitely been looking forward to this book.

  77. Your blog was a great surprise to me as it´s full of the good stuff: interviews, reviews, giveaways… Thanks for that and for making me interested in reading not only FLPM, but also EM!

  78. I have Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles on my to read list. and i cant wait to read it. Im sure it will be a great read

  79. Thanks for telling me about your giveaway on Goodreads. That’s a great idea! Next time I host a book giveaway on my blog, I’m going to message the people on Goodreads who have that book listed as “To-Read”. SO SMART! Plus, now I’ve found your blog and can read it. It’s win-win really.

  80. Thanks for mentioning this!

  81. Thanks for the giveaway invite. You’ve also convinced me to read Everything Matters! 😀

  82. Thanks for letting me know about the give-away! I haven’t read anything by Ron Currie Jr. as yet, but he has been on my to-read list for a while. The story premise reminds me a bit of ‘Stranger than Fiction’ in a very good way.

  83. Thanks so much for letting me know about this giveaway. I’m really interested in reading Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, and now I’m really interested in reading Everything Matters! as well. Your blog is great, by the way.

  84. Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles sounds like a great read. Thank you for the opportunity!

  85. Thanks for letting me know about this! Great interview, excited to read the book!

  86. Sam Chanthavong Says:

    Nice interview, J.A. I wasn’t aware of the connection between this new novel and Currie’s previous one. Now off to track down a copy of Everything Matters! as well…

  87. Amada Johnson Says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the giveaway. I’m looking forward to following your blog.

  88. I’ve had this one on my TBR for awhile, looks really good.

  89. I like the idea of reading the 2nd one first. Eager to get my hands on this!

  90. Would love to win a copy – thanks for hosting!

  91. Dominic Charles Says:

    Oh man, love this guy. I would love to win a copy of his new book!

  92. great interview! I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of FLPM, it is currently sitting at the top of my to be read list!

  93. This one is on my “to read” list!

  94. Great interview! I’m now curious to check out his other book as well as Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles 🙂

  95. That ending to Everything Matters! was pretty nuch awesome and devastating! Nice interview.

  96. J.Robinson Says:

    Hi. Want to be entered for book giveaway. Blog looks very interesting!

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