Today we’re hosting an interview for the book tour for literary fiction “The Vineyard”. We hope you enjoy the interview.
1) What is your book about?
Like most literary fiction, The Vineyard is a multi-layered novel. Several themes and stories are presented at once—some directly, some obliquely, some allegorically—through the lives of the central characters. On one level, The Vineyard is a simple story about three friends who decide to spend the summer together on a beautiful island in New England, ten years after college. They drink wine. They fight. They laugh. They cry. They throw parties. They have sex. A wedding looms. Someone is pregnant. Someone is cheating. Love may be real or it may be hollow. Friendships are tested by pride and jealousy and dishonesty. They support and undermine and betray and forgive each other. Charlotte struggles to recover from the loss of her baby three years ago to cancer. Dory struggles with the legacy of her rich and famous family. Turner struggles with feelings of self-doubt and a need for the adulation of men. For some readers, these events will comprise the entirety of the story. The careful reader will discover, however, that The Vineyard uses these elements and the amorphous persona of “the fisherman” to confront the characters with larger questions: What is the meaning of faith, and where is the line between faith and superstition? What is the literal truth of the faith stories we have been telling ourselves for millennia, and what is the added embroidery of time and wishful thinking? What do we believe about heaven and hell, and by what authority does anyone really know what happens after we die? What masks do we place on the faces of good and evil, and what is the truth that lies beneath? On a deeper level, the story is about the three main characters, and ultimately the reader, attempt to answer these questions.
2) How long did it take you to write the book?
I started on September 1, 2013 and completed the first draft on August 20, 2014 at 11:34 a.m.
3) Please name a few of your favorite authors and tell us why they’re your favorites.
Dickens is my all-time favorite, for wonderful characters, timeless stories, and shining prose. I greatly admire Gillian Flynn for her inventive use of alternating first person in Gone Girl. Somerset Maugham became one of my hero authors when I was nominated for a literary award for my first novel in his honor. I enjoyed his masterpiece, Of Human Bondage. F. Scott Fitzgerald is unequaled, in my opinion, for his ability to see and describe nuances of human character.
4) Will there be more books in this series, or is your book a standalone?
5) Name one thing you absolutely can’t go without when writing.
6) Why should people read your book?
I’ll quote one reviewer on Goodreads for an answer to this question:
“I was privileged to read Hurley’s amazing book The Prodigal last year, and reviewed it on Goodreads at the time. It was a gracious book that has never quite let me go. And now, this wonder of a book joins it . . . . Please, please get this more than five star rating book and get ready to be testing everything after you have.” –Andrea, Syracuse, NY
About The Vineyard
Title: The Vineyard
Author: Michael Hurley
Genre: Literary Fiction
From Michael Hurley, winner of the Somerset Prize for his debut novel, THE PRODIGAL, comes a complex and ambitious, allegorical tale of old money, young passion and ancient mystery in a classic New England seaside village.
Ten years after their college days together, three wounded and very different women reunite for a summer on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As they come to grips with the challenges and crises in their lives, their encounter with a reclusive poacher known only as “the fisherman” threatens to change everything they believe about their world–and each other.
“Hurley writes beautifully,” says Kirkus Reviews, “especially when describing island and nautical life.” Publishers Weekly praises “his well-crafted prose.”
Michael Hurley and his wife Susan live near Charleston, South Carolina. Born and raised in Baltimore, Michael holds a degree in English from the University of Maryland and law from St. Louis University.
The Prodigal, Michael’s debut novel from Ragbagger Press, received the Somerset Prize for mainstream fiction and numerous accolades in the trade press, including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Reviews, BookTrib, Chanticleer Reviews, and IndieReader. It is currently in development for a feature film by producer Diane Sillan Isaacs. Michael’s second novel, The Vineyard, is due to be released by Ragbagger Press on November 25, 2014.
Michael’s first book, Letters from the Woods, is a collection of wilderness-themed essays published by Ragbagger Press in 2005. It was shortlisted for Book of the Year by ForeWord magazine. In 2009, Michael embarked on a two-year, 2,200 mile solo sailing voyage that ended with the loss of his 32-foot sloop, the Gypsy Moon, in the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti in 2012. That voyage and the experiences that inspired him to set sail became the subject of his memoir, Once Upon A Gypsy Moon, published in 2013 by Hachette Book Group.
When he is not writing, Michael enjoys reading and relaxing with Susan on the porch of their rambling, one-hundred-year-old house. His fondest pastimes are ocean sailing, playing piano and classical guitar, cooking, and keeping up with an energetic Irish terrier, Frodo Baggins.
YouTube Video Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/iXfSuF1t9ss