ARTICLE: Who are Sara Gruen’s favorite characters in WFE?

Sara Gruen spoke with The Times last week while promoting her new book, Ape House. She mentions her creative process, writing Ape House, and of course, Water For Elephants.

Q: What has been your favorite character to write and why?

Gruen: I have different favorite characters for different works-Walter and Rosie in “Water for Elephants”; I like Harriet the dog (in “Riding Lessons”)…For “Ape House,” I really had fun with John and my heart really broke for Isabel; she’s really the scraped nerve of the book.

Q: You write so vividly in “Water for Elephants” about circus life and elements of the Great Depression. How do you approach your research and when do you know when it’s time to stop researching and start writing?

Gruen: With the circus stuff I was starting from absolute zero. I hadn’t even been to a circus. I went to various circus archives … I really just wanted to get a feel of the look, a sense of the colors and the costumes, and so on … I realized I was ready to go because no one cared what kind of lug nut was used on the train.

Q: “Water for Elephants” met with such critical success and a warm audience reception. Were you nervous about following it up?

Gruen: Of course … Actually, “Water for Elephants” had mixed reviews at the beginning … I don’t think anybody expected it to do what it did. It was word of mouth and booksellers and book clubs that made it happen.

Read the entire article HERE

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  • MAIARA

    i loved Water for Elepphants, and i’m looking for to read Ape House.
    My fav characters in WFE sre August, i dont know why, and old Jacob.

  • Elizabeth

    I loved WFE, I couldn’t put the book down.
    I just finished Ape House and I totally enjoyed it. It was not similar to WFE, which I was happy about. Some authors get in a rut, especially when they have a success. Not so with Sara Gruen. I loved the way she made me feel about the bonobos and her character descriptions. I thought the story was going to go one way, and it took a different turn. The book had all of the reasons why I love reading.
    BTW I want to meet the bonobos!

  • Drooler

    Loved Ape House – the story got going with a bang! W4E had a bit of a slow start.