Friday, December 16, 2011

5 Questions with Frank Deford

Our next to last reading of the 2011 FORUM series is TILL DEATH DO US PARTLY by Frank Deford. This reading will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dreyfuss Theatre, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ. Click here for directions. Click here for a printable map of the campus (the Dreyfuss Theatre is located in Building 9).

Frank Deford is author of seventeen books, ten of them novels, two filmed screenplays, hundreds of magazine articles. NPR commentator, Wednesdays on Morning Edition; senior correspondent on HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. Winner: Peabody Award, National Magazine Award, Emmy; member of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. Former chairman, now chairman emeritus: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. As they say in sports: out of Westport, Connecticut. Lovely wife: Carol. Two children: Christian and Scarlet. One grandchild: Annabel. Writes: right-handed. 6'4", 180. Huguenot-American.

1. What inspired you to write Till Death Do Us Partly?
I suspect "inspired" is too high-falutin' a word for what prompted me to write Till Death Do Us Partly. Without giving the ending away, let me just say that I read how somebody did something for posterity like what my hero pulls off in secret. Besides, I'm a romantic, and I love love stories and good old-fashioned drawing-room comedies (although I guess, with concessions to the modern: a "family-room" comedy).

2. You say you write right-handed. Do you also only type with your right?
No, I use both hands to type, but I probably use my right index finger for about three-quarters of the board (over to the "r" on the top row) and the left index finger the rest (including a;; those e's and s's). Unfortunately, I have terrible hand-eye coordination and almost no left-hand dexterity (or I would've been a much better basketball player as a kid).

3. In addition to being a playwright, you are also a book author, a screenwriter and a magazine article writer. Do you have the same process for each? If not, how does your process differ?
Process: pretty much the same for whatever I'm working on. Fiction, be it novel, movie, play, requires a more dedicated time. Because you need to get so immersed in the characters and the story you're creating, you can't just lay down fiction and pick it up again a few days later the way you can non-fiction. You have to stay in the story. When I'm writing a commentary for NPR or a script for HBO that I'll be speaking myself, then I'm more conscious of writing for the ear than the eye. Then I write as I talk –– which is very much how I write fictional dialogue, but, of course, then it will be someone else saying my words. Still, I don't just write out dialogue, but read it out loud to myself to hear how it sounds.

4. Who is your favorite sports team?
I grew up in Baltimore, so, hard as it is, I still stick with my Orioles. In Till Death To Us Partly, the two brothers want to own a small racing stable together. I wish I had the money for that. I did have a thoroughbred named after he once, but Frank Deford, the horse, was a loser.

5. What would people be surprised to know about you?
I don't play golf.

Click here to purchase a ticket to see TILL DEATH DO US PARTLY at FDU.

You can also find additional information on our website about the entire FORUM reading series.

$10 per reading
$25 for a FORUM pass (if you are going to attend at least 3 readings in the series---this is the best deal)

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