Welcome Lounges AMA AMA with Marlowe Granados

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    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Ask Me Anything

      with Marlowe Granados

      thin air winnipeg international writers festival international ecrivains logo

      Marlowe Granados  is a writer and filmmaker. She co-hosts The Mean Reds, a podcast dedicated to women-led films, and her advice column, “Designs for Living,” appears in The Baffler. After spending time in New York and London, Granados currently resides in Toronto. Happy Hour is her début novel. 

    • Barbara SchottBarbara Schott
      Participant
      Post count: 3

      Hello Marlowe and welcome to virtual Winnipeg. I enjoyed reading about you, about your novel as well as getting to “meet” you as you read. I was intrigued that you are both an accomplished writer, as we get to see at our festival, as well as a filmmaker. I want to ask you about that – the obvious connection, to my mind, is that both genres are about story-telling. But I would love to hear you elaborate on this from your experience:
      1/ how are they similar or dissimilar for you – how does each stretch you artistically
      2/ how does each genre inform/teach you about the other?

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Hi Barbara! Thank you for your thoughtful question, and for reading Happy Hour!

      I find that a lot of my inspiration is split evenly between literature and film. Film influences the way that I write, and I think that when I’m writing fiction I’m also thinking of it visually, musically, and editing it as one would a film. Happy Hour is like that for me. Each diary entry feels like a scene. I like the idea that the reader can take leaps with what is left unaccounted for. As for processes… Filmmaking is so collaborative. It’s also about compromise and managing teams. This can take away from your overall vision of something. Filmmaking is also so dependent on money and time. When I’m writing I’m so alone with myself. Even though you have editors and readers to give input, ultimately once you finish writing something you’re already a bit divorced from it.

      Writing has always been hard! With films I feel like you just make a bunch and with each one you kind of resigned yourself to what was possible in that moment and with that budget. With writing, I could look at a piece and add to it forever. Building and changing bits and pieces…I think your abilities as a writer are so mysterious with how far you can go. I think that’s the challenge for me, and what makes it so intimate and difficult.

    • Barbara SchottBarbara Schott
      Participant
      Post count: 3

      Thanks Marlowe, that is a very detailed answer. Now I’m curious to find out….do you think you will always have one foot in each genre? Or do you see yourself gravitating to one over the other? I get the feeling from your answer that you like both the world of collaboration that is film and the inward private (and endless) world of writing.

    • Bernice FraserBernice Fraser
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      Hi Marlowe, thanks for being here! I haven’t had a chance to read your book but I’m looking forward to it from the writeup & your recorded reading! Did the voice of your young protagonist come easy to you? What are some of the inspirations you drew upon to shape that voice?

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      I’m very project-based. Some projects (like a novel!) last longer than others. I think some things are perfectly done through writing that you wouldn’t be able to achieve so well with film. Isa’s voice is one of those things——It’s so dependent on her use of language. She really gets people to feel close to her, and I don’t think that could be done as expertly through film.

      I think that I describe myself to working more like an artist, as opposed to a writer. I hope doors stay open for me, and I can assign what medium works best for whatever story I want to tell!

    • Joy RenwickJoy Renwick
      Participant
      Post count: 16

      Hi Marlowe. I have really enjoyed the sparkle and sass in you writing (and the film clips I’ve seen so far). It seems like you are able to maintain kind of an ironic distance from the glam factor but also an unabashed appreciation of it. Is that fair assessment? And do you think that is characteristic of our times just now?

    • Faith BuchananFaith Buchanan
      Participant
      Post count: 11

      Hi Marlowe, thanks for being here! I was wondering how your column writing may or may not have helped you write your novel?!

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Hi Bernice! Thank you for your question. I look forward to you reading it as well!

      Writers often talk about feeling like the voices of their narrators “possess” them. I think that is similar to what happened with Isa! I felt like writing her was such a specific experience. I don’t know whether I’ll ever have such a particular voice in my writing again! At the very beginning I started writing a monologue that was “performed” by Isa. It was kind of this long speech she gives just explaining who she is and where she comes from. That very first piece of writing informed much of the rhythm that came to be her voice of the novel.

      I looked to a lot of women characters in 1930 films. I love the way they’re so charming, sharp, and speedy. They’re able to get away with saying scandalous things, but because of how they deliver it. I wanted Isa to be able to get away with anything, so the way she phrases her observations always has a double-meaning. Mostly, I wanted to write a young woman who was very wry and funny!

    • Bernice FraserBernice Fraser
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      Thanks for your thoughtful response! I see in your bio that you also run a podcast on film – I’ll have to check that out too, I love conversations about women in film. Do you have any recommendations for my to-watch list?

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Hi Joy! Thank you for your question and your compliment!

      I do think that’s a fair assessment. I don’t know if it’s ironic per se! I think there’s a lot of humour that goes into it. There’s this knowingness of how other people may perceive you as silly or frivolous. I think if you have characters who already know that people may think that, it takes the venom out of the observer. It reassigns the power back to the person who just wants to be around beautiful things. One thing I know is my characters are always winking to the audience.

      That’s really one of my tenets in life and in writing. I think people deserve pleasure and deserve to laugh!

      I love glamour and whatever that means and whatever form it comes in, I’m happy it exists.

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Hi Faith! I actually got my column after I had already done much of the novel. I think the novel helped my column!

      When people look to get advice they are really putting trust in you. By writing these young women who made wrong decisions here and there made me quite sensitive to the nuance of people’s relationships. I try not to coddle too much, and I definitely do not want to scold anyone. Writing Isa had me temper my own “jaded” views on the world. Isa and Gala are a little world weary, but I don’t think they’re bitter. I think that’s what I try to steer people away from becoming.

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Hi Bernice!

      Yes absolutely! Some of my favourites that I always revisit: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Women (1932), Gas Food Lodging, The Watermelon Woman, Daisies, The Daytrippers, Party Girl, Last Days of Disco.

    • Marlowe GranadosMarlowe Granados
      Moderator
      Post count: 8

      Thank you for the wonderful questions everyone! Next time I hope to be there in person. xx Marlowe

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