Cultivating Interview 2
You are a remarkable writer and have passionate interests ranging from the Inklings to Dante to spiritual formation and creative collaboration. With such a broad range of interests and so many new projects tugging at your sleeve, why do another book on a topic that you have already spent such a great labour on? The Company They Keep is a seminal work in Inklings studies. Do you see Bandersnatch carrying a different message than The Company They Keep or does it really have a different purpose altogether?
Thank you so much. I am gratified by the impact of The Company They Keep. The message of that book and the message of Bandersnatch are exactly the same: Lewis and Tolkien accomplished great and lasting things because they had the encouragement, correction, and practical help of the Inklings. Their example has far-reaching implications for each of us as we strive to make the most of our talents and opportunities.
You’ll find that same message at the heart of both books, but I wrote them for very different kinds of readers. The Company They Keep is a book for scholars. It’s a book to linger over, ponder, reflect, and dig deep. It’s a book for the people who love to be invited into the complexities, who appreciate the big picture, and who don’t want to miss a thing.
On the other hand, Bandersnatch is a book for readers who want to cut to the chase: it is lean, lively, and direct.
Why write another book about the Inklings? Because the Inklings provide such a fascinating example of what makes the creative process work. I wanted to make sure that their story reached way beyond the limits of those who are eager to read hundreds of pages of Inklings biography.
This question-and-answer is part of a larger interview conducted by Lancia Smith with Dr. Diana Glyer in January 2016 on “Cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.” To read the full interview and gain further insights into creative collaboration, click here.