“It’s supremely important for you to have a community of writers to turn to for support and for advice, and for drinks when you finally crawl out of your writing cave.”
A member of the Writers’ League of Texas for over 16 years (and a former WLT Executive Director!), John Pipkin lives in Austin.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
John Pipkin: Literary Historical Fiction. My book The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter (Bloomsbury) came out in October.
Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?
JP: David Foster Wallace. I’d like to ask him what was on the deadly-entertaining videotape in Infinite Jest.
(But I don’t think he’d tell me.)
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
JP: John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667). It’s an epic poem, so it has the merit of being really really long, and it holds up under multiple re-readings.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
JP: It’s supremely important for you to have a community of writers to turn to for support and for advice, and for drinks when you finally crawl out of your writing cave.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
JP: I’ve written novels set in the 18th and 19th centuries, so eventually I’d like to creep up into the 20th century, maybe.
Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?
JP: Dominic Smith, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
JP: Ah, I feel like I’ve already been doing a lot of shameless self-promotion on social media lately, so maybe I should pass on this one. (Okay, one thing: the UK edition of The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter came out on December 15, and the large print edition publishes on January 17. That’s it.)
If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!