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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 391)...

    Did you have a sequel in mind when you wrote Ishmael? More to the point, did you purposefully write Alan Lomax as being a possessive, self-centered egoist, or were these just qualities you extracted from him when they were needed to fit into the story-line of My Ishmael?

    ...and the response:

    I certainly did not have a sequel in mind when I wrote ISHMAEL. Every character in a novel is "purposefully" created to do what he or she must do to make the novel work. To make MY ISHMAEL work, for example, Julie had to be a plucky, resourceful, near-genius with a wobbly home life. However, characters aren’t created from lists. Alan Lomax is a person, with traits that are both lovable and unlovable. You may think of him as "a possessive, self-centered egoist," but I think of him as a whole individual. When it came to creating a sequel, I had to find in him the qualities that could be manipulated so as to make this new story work.


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