Martin Millar is the author of several novels, including The Good Fairies of New York, Lonely Werewolf Girl, Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me and his newest, Lux the Poet, available May 2009. While Millar’s fiction displays a wide range in style, from fantasy to gritty realism, funny to funereal, all his works hold up a fun-house mirror to society with fascinating results.
This is Installment 2 of 3 of our exclusive interview with Martin Millar. Miss an earlier post? Read Installment 1.
JN: In Lonely Werewolf Girl, you cover politics, society, music, and haute couture while spinning an epic fantasy tale featuring werewolves and other supernatural creatures. It made a big splash with booksellers here in the US–what do you think it is about the book that so captured our imaginations?
MM: That’s quite difficult to answer. I’m not great at promoting my own books. I think Lonely Werewolf Girl has interesting characters, sympathetic despite their faults. Also, it’s funny, or at least it’s meant to be. There are a lot of strong female characters. I’m not sure why that happened, it just did.
I have seen Lonely Werewolf Girl described as light reading. And in a way, that’s correct. It’s certainly meant to be easy to read, despite its length. For some reason I’ve never entirely understood, describing a book as easy to read can be seen as something of a criticism. Personally, I think it’s a good thing (as Kurt Vonnegut might have said. I was very influenced by Kurt Vonnegut in my early days0). I work on my writing to make it flow in a simple and natural way. This gives the advantage of moving the story along both clearly and briskly, though it does have the disadvantage of not being lyrical.
I hope–-though I don’t really know–-that the Scottish background is attractive. I’ve always liked the strong Scottish images of Clans, Tartans, and so on. They were a strong element in The Good Fairies and they’re equally strong in Lonely Werewolf Girl. (Despite saying that, my own upbringing in Scotland, in the large city of Glasgow, had absolutely nothing to do with clans or tartans.)