Victoria Loustalot on "This is How You Say Goodbye"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

This weekend the Avid Reader at Tower will be hosting a locally-raised author, now living in New York City. She is kicking off her first book, a memoir recounting her growing up and the the loss of her father when she was a child.

Come join us at 3pm for food, drink, and to speak with this wonderfully talented author!

My Questions, Victoria's Answers

Andrea: What was your process writing this book?  The style right from the

start feels so natural and conversational. Did you have any diaries or
journals to draw on?

Victoria: The emotional resonance of the book was extremely important to me, and
I knew the only way to achieve that was to write my story the way I
would tell it to a close friend. I made a point to avoid lofty
language and did my best not to overwrite, because I find such writing
keeps the reader at a distance. I didn't want there to be any distance
between the reader and my story. There's enough distance in the world
already. I wanted readers to be right there on the page in the moment
with me every step of the way. The best memoirs are the ones that let
you in.

Andrea: What originally gave you the idea to contrast these two periods of your life?

Victoria: I wanted to show the reader where I ended up. Who I grew up to be. If
the book had only been about my childhood, half the story would have
been missing. It would have been less honest. I needed to be as hard
on myself (if not harder) as I was on everyone else in the book and
that meant writing about myself as both an innocent child and a not so
innocent adult.

I also wanted readers to understand my quest to find my dad, to
understand the burden I carried into adult and the longing I felt to
make sense of who this man had been as a whole human being, not just
as a father, not just as a dying man.

Andrea:What question would you love readers to ask you and what would your
response be?

Victoria: I'd love readers to ask why I wrote this book. And the answer is that
I believe the only way to heal, the only way to foster acceptance and
empathy and to eradicate shame is to share our stories. I want to live
an honest and open life without secrets, because all secrets are
poisonous. It breaks my heart how much my dad suffered because of
secrets. I want that kind of suffering to stop with his generation. It
won't happen to me. I won't let it happen to my future children.

Andrea: Have you been able to think of your next project yet, and if so,
what will it be?

Victoria: I have given lots of thought to my next book, and I'm researching a
few ideas right now, but one thing I've learned is that having a topic
or even a theme is not a story. It's just an idea. It's in the
researching of a topic that you find the narrative. I'm still in the
research stage, looking for the story I want to tell next, and until I
find it, I'd rather stay mum on the specifics. But wish me luck - I
need it!

Wishing you the best of luck Victoria! May we see plenty more titles with your name on them in our store!

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