I talked to David Kimmel at the Ohioana Book Festival.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I stumbled into it through this process. I am an English professor. I was interested in this case because my father discovered there was a murder and lynching involving our family. I am interested in the boundary between fiction and history.
How long did it take for you to write the book?
I started working on it about 1995. It was published in October 2018. It took a long time because I wasn’t working on it full time.
What is your writing schedule when you are writing?
In the past ten years, I worked a little more on writing during breaks from school and during my free time.
What is your interesting/unique writing quirk if you have one?
I don’t write from the beginning to the end. I write in a lot of different pieces, then assemble at the end.
What is the most surprising thing you learned when writing this book?
There may be a bone of my relative who was lynched still around that somebody has.
Sidebar: I tried to keep a straight face. I wasn’t expecting him to say anything close to that.
Why did you write this book? What makes it special?
I am interested in the boundary I mentioned before. I am also interested in this case because it was my relative. I wanted to find out if they were bad people. What is unique about the book is it has an interesting blend of history, personal narrative, fiction, documents (excerpts from newspapers and sociological discussions of the time period) and why people would be doing what they did.
Where can a person buy your book?
Indiana University press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Anyplace that has those sorts of books.
Anything I didn’t ask you that you want to add?
I’m working on another book that is going to do this similar type of blending of history and fiction.