It’s November 2013. I was just asked to do this. Consequently I have NO IDEA what I’m going to talk about in March. Likely, cats will come up. This is because 1) I have a cat whom I love and who is dying now and may not survive another four months and 2) because I’ve spent the last seven years writing a 27-volume novel called The Familiar, which concerns a cat. In fact, the first volumes are due five days after I give this talk. It’s highly likely then that process will come up a lot. No doubt I’ll be exhausted, damp with thought, more off-kilter than usual — i.e. impatient and unpleasant. One promise I can make: I usually know how to survive large, complex projects. One promise I can’t make: that I won’t just stand up and read a story about a zoo and a particularly dangerous tiger.
Mark Z. Danielewski is the author of the award-winning and bestselling novelHouse of Leaves, National Book Award finalist Only Revolutions, and The Fifty Year Sword, which was performed on Halloween three years in a row at REDCAT. He is currently finishing the very beginning of The Familiar, a 27-volume novel about a 12-year-old girl who finds a kitten.