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Daisy Fay and the Miracle Manby Fannie Flagg
Author Q & A
A Conversation with Fannie Flagg
Q: Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to write Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man? Is any of it based on your experiences as a girl growing up in the South?
FF: Several things inspired me to write this book. While attending my first writer’s conference, I heard the great Ray Bradbury speak about all the books from his childhood that had inspired him to become a writer. Each and every book he mentioned were either adventure books or coming-of--age books about little boys, all written by men. As I sat there and thought about what I had read as a child, I realized there were very few books about little girls compared to so many books about little boys, it didn’t seem fair. Then it suddenly struck me that maybe I should try and write a book about a little girl! At the same conference we were told to write what you know and so yes, the book is indeed based on my experiences growing up in the South.
Q: How did you prepare yourself to get into the mind-set of a very young child? What challenges did you face making Daisy’s voice age throughout the novel?
FF: I had to go back in my mind and remember what it was like being a child and observing life without having the real story. I was very careful not to let the grown-up writing the story slip in and know or say things that Daisy would have no knowledge of. I was also writing the story on two levels. I was writing the story about what was really happening in the adult world and also writing what Daisy Fay thought was happening, which was not always the same thing.
Q: In both Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man and Standing in the Rainbow, you portray the 1950s. Is there something about that time period that you find particularly evocative?
FF: I suppose having been raised in the Fifties, I am particularly in love with that period and in reality they were pretty wonderful from the standpoint of a child. Not to be cliché, but it was a time of innocence and I suspect there is a part of me that would like to go back when we were not dealing with so many problems, like drugs, crime, and so much anger in the world. I remember never having to lock our doors or worry about our children. As I remember, America seemed like a safe place.
Q: Who is your favorite character in this novel?
FF: I think Daisy Fay is my favorite character because she is such an optimist, even when things are terrible in her life. I would like to be more like her.
Q: Did you ever consider ending the book a different way? If so, what would have happened?
FF: No, the book ended the way I think her life would have gone up to that point. She is headed into the world believing she will be somebody someday.
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