I recently went to listen to reading by Brad Herzog, in which he read a chapter from his new book Turn Left at the Trojan Horse. The book is about Herzog’s journey to his college reunion in Ithaca, NY and his many stops at small towns on his way across the country. Each town he visited was named after Ancient Greek cities, or otherwise related to Greek history. The chapter from the book that he read was rather interesting, but what I found to be more insightful was the process by which he went about writing his books.
Brad Herzog is a travel writer, meaning he writes what he calls “creative nonfiction.” Creative nonfiction is interesting in that the depicted events are all real, but the narrative and preceding events are so _______ that it simply needed to be written in a way that a fiction novel might be written. By that I mean, there is incredible character development that takes place. What’s so interesting about that is Herzog actually finds these random people in these small towns, or interviews the most well-known locals (like the most interesting people in that small town, not famous).
Herzog finds these small towns that are seemingly uninteresting, but he manages to find great characters and narrative just by asking around. I think that this concept is pretty neat. Herzog talked about several people that he had met, and they sounded like fictional characters, they were just that interesting. By interviewing all of these people and visiting these small towns, I feel that Herzog could very well have painted a picturesque portrait of a not often seen side of America.
The town I live in is surrounded by small hamlets and towns that have about 100 people living in them, and people never think too much about them. It kind of makes me wonder if those small towns have their own stories and interesting characters. Perhaps someday I’ll have to venture out on my own and find out. Probably not though, I have too much design work to do. Speaking of which, it’s time to get back to that.