From the Notebooks of Matthew McGevna, author of Little Beasts
To celebrate the release of Little Beasts — the latest release from Akashic’s Kaylie Jones Books imprint — we’re pleased to feature a peek at author Matthew McGevna’s handwritten first draft of the novel.
From the Notebooks of Matthew McGevna
Writing by hand affords me the opportunity to interact with words, to decide which turn of phrase or sentence structure is clearest — and, in some cases, what makes the most sense to the mind’s ear. In the following scans from my notebook, for example, I originally wrote that Felix thrust his hands into the air, then changed it to threw, but ultimately decided that thrust tickled in alliteration more playfully with the s in his and in hands. This is the physical dance I lead with my words, and I find that I can only accomplish this with handwriting. You’ll also note that I originally penned the opening chapter in past tense. During my revisions I realized a much more immediate presentation was necessary, to first glide above Turnbull like a bird of prey, and then dive down into its expansive and beautiful world.
MATTHEW McGEVNA was born and raised in Mastic Beach, Long Island. Born of Irish descent, he attended fiction and poetry workshops in Galway, Ireland, through the University of Arkansas Writing Program. He received his MFA in creative writing from Long Island University’s Southampton College in 2002. An award-winning poet, McGevna has also published numerous short stories in various publications, including Long Island Noir, Epiphany, and Confrontation. He currently lives in Center Moriches, New York, with his wife and two sons, Jackson and Dempsey. Little Beasts is his first novel.
Posted: Jul 1, 2015
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