Teri Emory, author of Second Acts
This is your debut novel. But, with the combined wisdom and experience of your three protagonists, do you feel like you’ve been writing this book all your life?
I’ve drawn on decades of experiences and relationships from my own (and several friends’) First and Second Acts. The voices of the three protagonists in Second Acts came to me clearly and distinctly, each one reminding me of different moments from my own history. So in a way, yes, I’ve been writing this novel all my adult life.
How much is a generation’s music tied in to their sense of collective identity?
In the late 1960s, music provided a mandatory soundtrack that enhanced, explained, and elevated life events for college students like me. Our musical tastes and habits distinguished us from our parents, who largely disapproved of our choices and who listened to the same music in the same way their parents did (as entertainment only). Not us: we marched for justice, studied for exams, expanded our consciousness, fell in and out of love, demanded R-E- S-P- E-C- T, and pondered our place in the universe—all to the sounds of Motown, folk, and rock songs that we played day and night. Music of this era, which both reflected and promoted societal changes, was a unifying element for my generation.
You’ve published your novel. Now, do you have a Third Act?
I’m planning on one, thanks. I’ve got a new book in the works, a (mostly) comic novel about contemporary academic life, featuring a witty English professor, witless college bureaucrats, sleazy Internet trolls, and sleazier TV journalists. Also, some early readers of Second Acts have expressed hope for a film. And a sequel. (Hmm.) I’d like my Third Act to include MORE. More writing. More reading. More cooking. More promising I’ll learn to speak Mandarin. More schmoozing with friends. More world travel arm-in- arm with my husband. More time with my daughter and son-in- law. More spoiling my grandson. More…