Twitter Chat with 5 Under 35 Honoree Stuart Nadler
Thursday, October 25, 2012, 2:00-3:00pm

#5under35chatNational Book Foundation @nationalbook: It’s time for the third in our series of Twitter chats with 5 Under 35 honorees. Today’s guest is @stuartnadler. Welcome, Stuart!

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: Hello everybody!

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: I’ll ask the first question to get the conversation rolling, and then I’ll open it up for others to ask their questions.

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: You’re a writer. Your sister, Marissa, is a musician. Do you come from an artistic family, or did you two just get lucky?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: Our mother is a painter. So yes. But we're both very lucky about the fact that we have parents who encouraged us.

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: Did you always write? If so, how have your writing habits changed throughout your life?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: Looking back on it, I've always written. I wrote stories when I was young. But I didn't start writing seriously… 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: and by that I mean writing every day until I was out of college. But I've always loved to read, and I've always loved books.

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: That hasn't changed. 

Harold Augenbraum @haugenbraum: What sort of books did you read when you were younger? And what do you like to read now?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @haugenbraum  When I was really young it was always adventure stories. I had a set of classic novels adapted for kids... 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @haugenbraum Tom Sawyer, or The Count of Monte Cristo. I loved those books...or the kid version at least. 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @haugenbraum Now, it's mostly contemporary fiction. But less and less when I'm working on something. 

Harold Augenbraum @haugenbraum: Does reading other authors when you are working on your own stuff affect your own work?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @haugenbraum I'd like to think it doesn't. But I know better. I envy the writers who say that they can read the same way... 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @haugenbraum when they're writing than when they're not.

Carrie Klein @carrieliberry: @stuartnadler Hi Stuart! I can't wait to read Wise Men. Was the writing process for the novel different than for the stories?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @carrieliberry Hi Carrie! Yes––such a different process. I worked on the stories for such a long time...

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @carrieliberry Some of them had taken me years to finish. "Catherine and Henry" took almost five years of failure. Just constant…

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @carrieliberry ...failing and trying again and failing. Wise Men was different in so many ways. I got lucky in the sense... 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @carrieliberry that I had a beginning in mind when I started, and I had the ending, right from the start. That helped.

Harold Augenbraum @haugenbraum: I read an interview with Colm Toibin where he said he writes his first drafts with a fountain pen. Is that how you write yours?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @haugenbraum No! No fountain pen for me. I write straight into the computer. I do take notes in longhand, though.

Erin Young @think_books: What's your secret for getting the work (writing) done?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @think_books Write every day. And be fierce about limiting the distractions in your life. I write on a computer without access... 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @think_books to the internet. It's hard to write and browse (or tweet) at the same time! 

Reagan Arthur @reaganart: @stuartnadler How did attending a creative writing program shape or change your writing, do you think?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @reaganart The most important thing was having the time to write. It's a cliche, but I did little else but write when I was there.

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @reaganart ...I had some bad habits hammered out of me. And I was surrounded by some really brilliant writers. That fact alone... 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @reaganart made it worth it. Plus, I loved Iowa City. It's an amazing place.

Amanda Lang @amandalanger: @stuartnadler Hi Stuart! How did you come to make the switch from short story to novel? 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @amandalanger I think I always wanted to write novels, and I'd always thought of narrative in terms that seemed too large... 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @amandalanger for short fiction. I struggled so much to write a really short story...or just one that came in under 20 pages. 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @amandalanger Except for "Visiting", which is in TBOL, I really haven't done it yet. 

Benjamin Grillot @bgrillot: @stuartnadler Who are your favorite musicians? Do you listen to music as you write? Has there been a great music novel?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @bgrillot I don't listen to music when I write! I used to, but I find it impossible to do now. 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @bgrillot As for a good music novel--I'm not sure it qualifies entirely, but I loved A Visit From the Good Squad.

SJMurhpy @SJMurphy: @stuartnadler Were there particular inspirations for the idea behind your upcoming novel WISE MEN? If so, what were they? 

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @SJMurphy That's a good, hard question, Sarah! Yes--First off, Cape Cod. Especially the outer cape.

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @SJMurphy And I'd was inspired by the idea of writing a book that captured an entire life...or at least most of someone's life.

Justine Levine @defaultdothtml: @stuartnadler What's your favorite story in THE BOOK OF LIFE?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @defaultdothtml I'm not sure I have a favorite, but I do love the first story, if only because I remember the thrill of writing it

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: Your second book is scheduled to come out early next year. How are you feeling the second time around as compared to the first?

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @nationalbook In one sense, I'm less nervous because I know what to expect.

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @nationalbook But I'm also more nervous. Because... being nervous is my general state of being. So...I'd say it's about the same.

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: That brings us to the end of our chat. Thank you, Stuart, for being with us today, and congrats again on the 5 Under 35 selection!

Stuart Nadler @stuartnadler: @nationalbook Thanks everyone!

about Stuart Nadler

Stuart NadlerStuart Nadler is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Teaching-Writing Fellowship. Recently, he was the Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic. His novel, Wise Men, will be published by Reagan Arthur Books in February 2013, the follow-up to his short story collection, The Book of Life.
Photo credit: Nina Subin
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