Q: In dreaming up this
novel, what came to you first: the sisters, the setting,
or Megan's on-air slip? And how did your storyline
evolve from there?
Anna Quindlen: I always begin a novel with a theme. Black and Blue, for instance, began with the theme of identity, Blessings with the theme of redemption. Rise and Shine grew out of constant thoughts about the disconnect in modern American life between appearance and reality. The more I thought about that disconnect, about how we've all come to believe that what looks good is good, the more I thought I should write about someone famous. That's where the dissonance is greatest, it seems to me, and the public interest weirdest. And then I thought that the story would be best told by someone on the outside looking in. (Yes, I have read Gatsby. Many many times.)
Q: Do you share any ...