Please welcome Scot Gardner to Escape Through the Pages!Books
– The Dead I Know (2011)
– Happy As Larry (2010)
– Gravity (2006)
– Burning Eddy (2003)
My review of The Dead I Know
Hi Scot, welcome to Escape Through the Pages!
In The Dead I Know, Aaron works at a funeral home. What kind of research did you do in order to present so many details of the ins and outs of a funeral home?
My godparents, Kevin and Annette, run a funeral home in Portland (Victoria, Australia) and have done for many years. If we annoyed the godparents they’d threaten to lock us in the cool room with the bodies awaiting ceremony. It was a frightening (but tongue-in-cheek) prospect and it played on my imagination. As an adult, I spent time working in the family business and helped care for other people’s dead. It was a rich experience for me and I hope the details have filtered through into the book.
Aaron has a pretty bad case of sleepwalking. Why did you think of sleepwalking as a way to explore the memories hidden in Aaron’s head?
To me, sleepwalking seems like an outward expression of inner turmoil. Our youngest daughter suffered from nightmares and somnambulism until she hit her teens and they disturbed my wife and I more than they disturbed her. She managed to sneak out the door and into the night on a couple of occasions. Sleepwalking was the perfect expression of someone who was running from the unknown and losing control of his life.
If you were offered the chance to job shadow/explore any job for a week, what would you want it to be?
That’s a no-brainer. I’d travel with bird photographer Art Morris for a week. The guy gets to hang out in spectacular country and bring home great swags of gold in the form of images that nobody (except he and his shadow guy – me) has had to suffer for. I think it’s the delicate interchange between bird watching and photography that attracts me. I’m smitten by the idea of long walks where the ultimate goal is to find a place to be still in nature. And getting paid for it. What a life!
If, rather than sleepwalking, you had insomnia and had only one book on hand to help pass the time, what book would you want it to be?
I think I’d choose a book to illuminate my waking hours, not something sedative. It would have to be fat. It would have to be funny or experimental or both. It would have to be richly layered. I think I’m talking about James Joyce’s Ulysses.