I watched a three-hour interview with Shelby Foote on Book TV this weekend. The interview was shot a couple of years ago at Foote's home in Memphis, TN. I wrote down a few things he said and wanted to share them with you:
He writes with a fountain pen that he dips. Why? "Because it makes me take my time," he said. "I don't want anything mechanical coming between me and the page."
He was asked about his philosophy of the sentence. He said that using different lengths of sentences is more important than we know.
He also read Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust nine times, which is what influenced the way he thinks about sentences.
And he quoted George Lucas: "Talent is always a writer's deviation."
Shelby Foote died last week. He was in his late 80s.