MC: Let's start with the obvious: Why did you write a book about killing your mother - or one's mother, rather?
AS: You know, it seems like a natural thing to me. [laughs] We all work hard to understand the dynamic relationship we have with a parent. And in some sense, freedom comes with separation, so this is the ultimate separation.
MC: Does it make your own mother nervous?
AS: No, I'm very lucky in that she's a reader. She's been reading poetry and mythology for years, so this doesn't faze her.
MC: Did you feel the pressure of writing the big follow-up novel to The Lovely Bones?
AS: Nothing comes easily. Lucky didn't and Bones didn't, and this didn't. The extra pressure just added to what is already a difficult process.
MC: So then the reward is . . .
AS: Being able to work out obsessions from the subconscious and also creating a character that keeps you company while you're doing it.
MC: The Lovely Bones is being turned into a movie. Are you nervous about what they'll do to it?
AS: I'm not. Maybe I should be! But I think the book has been a large enough phenomenon in my own life, and now Peter Jackson is going to create another piece of art out of it in a medium that I don't have any aspirations to be involved in.
MC: Your narratives tend to be driven by violence.
AS: I'm gradually working through my obsessions, and maybe, when they're all free and clear, I'll write a comedy. But I'm not there yet.