The April 18th's Rising Writers event with Daniel Gumbiner and Kevin Smokler was as educational as it was entertaining. Daniel Gumbiner, author of National Book Award nominee The Boatbuilder, and Kevin Smoker, author of Brat Pack America, talked about writing The Boatbuilder and Gumbiner's next project.
Gumbiner's novel primarily deals with escape, acceptance and the relationship between the two. Its protagonist, Berg, is an opiate addict recovering from a major trauma, and boatbuilding is what teaches him to move forward. Gumbiner said that the novel wasn't so much about Berg's addiction itself as much as it was the pain precipitating his addiction. The Boatbuilder was originally written in Berg's and Alejandro's (the boatbuilder) perspective. It had more flashbacks as well, with Gumbiner noting that "no one ever finishes a book and says ‘Man, I wish there were more flashbacks!'" He advises first-time novelists to focus on the coherence of the narrative, and to build on what's interesting at any given moment. Follow these steps and the world of the novel will materialize.
Gumbiner also talked about his upcoming novel, which concerns four main characters connected to a police department corruption scandal in Nevada. If it is anything like The Boatbuilder, then I am sure it will be a success!
— Kat Triebes, Events Intern