• The US Fall Play, The Secret in the Wings, is on Nov. 17 and 18 at 7 pm in the Huss auditorium.

  • Senior Mira Zelle and junior Elise Parsons will compete at state Poetry Out Loud on Jan. 7 at Open Book.

  • Senior Speeches on Nov. 21: Olivia Williams Ridge, Isabel Brandtjen, Aaron Datta and Dorienne Hoven

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Q&A: Book Fest author Charlie Quimby talks about his novel Monument Road

Author+Charlie+Quimby+sits+at+his+book+signing+table+in+the+Summit+Center+on+Nov.+20.+%22Writing+fiction+is+about+writing+things+that+are+important+for+you+instead+of+%5Bfor%5D+your+client%2C%22+he+said.+
Author Charlie Quimby sits at his book signing table in the Summit Center on Nov. 20.

Author Charlie Quimby sits at his book signing table in the Summit Center on Nov. 20. "Writing fiction is about writing things that are important for you instead of [for] your client," he said.

Lucy Li

Lucy Li

Author Charlie Quimby sits at his book signing table in the Summit Center on Nov. 20. "Writing fiction is about writing things that are important for you instead of [for] your client," he said.

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The newest book featured at Book Fest comes from author Charlie Quimby. Monument Road, published on Nov. 12, has already received advanced praise and was named a Big Indie Book for Fall 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly. The novel is about a man’s promise to his wife, the obstacles he encounters along the way, and his own existence in life and whether or not it is really the end. Be sure to read the full story on this year’s Book Fest authors in the November print edition of The Rubicon.

Why did you start writing fiction?

Quimby: I started because I have been a writer all my life and when I was retiring, I figured that writing a long fiction novel would be my last goal as a writer.

I was worked for major corporation in the Twin Cities; I wrote sales annual reports.

What is your favorite part about writing fiction?

Quimby: It accesses a really different part of my brain because I am writing about people instead of things. There is a sort of empathy for people of all kinds. Writing fiction is about writing things that are important for you instead of [for] your client.

Where did you get the inspiration for writing Monument Road?

Quimby: There are two parts of my inspiration. I grew up in Western Colorado and I have lived in Minnesota for a number of years. In the last six or seven years I have been going back to the landscape where I grew up. The landscape is really important in the novel.

What does the the landscape affect for you?

Quimby: The landscape of the desert edge affects people and inspires a religious as well as an artistic reaction. Going to the edge of the valley that is where people go to die. The contrast between the religious inspiration and where people feel small and go to end their lives is really important in Monument Road.

Did you have an experience similar to your main character Leonard Self?

Quimby: I have encountered people like Leonard, but me myself no. I have family experience; my father committed suicide. I have go inside of their [the character’s] mind and figure things out.

Do you have a connection to SPA? If so, what is it?

Quimby: Dorothy Goldie, [who] is the Director of Institutional Advancement, is a long time friend.

Why did you choose to sign books at Book Fest?

Quimby: I am trying to find many readers through the Red Balloon Bookshop that is carrying my books.

What do you think about the Book Fest theme “Fiction, Fantasy, and Folly”?

Quimby: I think it is a good theme. It offers a sense of fun, and fantasy is one of the big area of fiction these days. It expresses a lot of different reading experiences.

Have you written other books?

Quimby: I have been a co-author [for] Community Planning.

What do you do in your free time?

Quimby: I like bicycling and I also volunteer with homeless shelters.

Are you writing any more novels in the future?

Quimby: I am the working on the The Undoing. It is a novel set in the same [place] as Monument Road. It concerns homelessness in the valley. This is a collision between the town wanting the homeless to be gone and helping them. There is a bit of a mystery from Monument Road that continues in The Undoing.

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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School
Q&A: Book Fest author Charlie Quimby talks about his novel Monument Road