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Sharing the Writing and Research Process
Interview on After the First Death
This loose draft contains three pages of typed, and in places, typed-over, text. It appears that Robert Cormier was constructing interview responses and possibly even questions to which to reply about his audience, topic, research, and writing processes for After the First Death. He sympathizes with adolescents as he viewed that phase of life as "lacerating" and challenging. He shares how he conducted what research he could on a terroristic act and he explains how his characters unfold themselves to him through diligence and his telling of their truths.
Robert Cormier's letter to Kevin Prentice
Robert Cormier responds to Kevin's inquiries regarding the ideas for the novel, After the First Death. He cites three main sources of interest: his home near Fort Devens and the possibility of a terrorist attack; the Abraham-Isaac Bible story; and, his desire to create a female character.
Maura Fabrice's letter to Robert Cormier
Maura Fabrice from Thornton, Pennsylvania, wrote a two-page typed fan letter on 3 Oct. 1997, addressed to Robert Cormier at Dell Publishers. She tells him that she is a high school student and has just read her first book by him, We All Fall Down. She is intrigued by the combination of romance and suspense that Cormier creates.
Robert Cormier's response to Maura Fabrice
In his letter to Maura Fabrice, Robert Cormier talks about using The Avenger character in We All Fall Down as a suspense device. He also talks about Buddy and Jane and the inevitability of the last scene, which was "heartbreaking" for him to write.
Khaled Khalaf's letter to Robert Cormier
High school freshman, Khaled Khalaf from Houston, Texas wrote this handwritten, undated, two-page letter to Robert Cormier. He writes that he has read Tunes for Bears to Dance To, and found it enthralling as it took him "to another world". He asked Cormier about his day-to-day writing habits and said he planned to next read The Chocolate War.
Robert Cormier's response to Khaled Khalaf
In his 22 March 1998 response to Khaled Khalaf's letter, Robert Cormier shares where he got ideas for characters in his book Tunes for Bears to Dance To, which stemmed from childhood memories as well as current friendships and reading.
Dick Cavett interviews controversial author Norman Mailer on The Dick Cavett Show. Cavett was and is still regarded as a consummate interviewer. Interested people can find many extended interviews with celebrities from the period between 1969-1975.
The popular interest for peering into the life of the writer propel the repeated publication of articles and interviews of authors sharing their "secrets" or process such at The Atlantic article "The 8 Habits of Highly Successful Young-Adult Fiction Authors" or the "10 talks from authors" TED Talks playlist featuring writers such as Amy Tan, Isabelle Allende, and Pico Iyer.