S.D. Crockett on narrative voice and an especially cold winter:
What was your inspiration for After the Snow?
Well, apart from the unbelievably cold winter during which I was writing—in an unheated house, chopping logs and digging my car out of the snow; I think much of the inspiration for the settings in After the Snow came from my various travels.
In my twenties I worked as a timber buyer in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, and that work led to travels in Eastern Europe and Armenia. As soon as I step off the plane in those places it smells like home.
It may sound strange to say, when After the Snow is set in Wales, but really the practical dilemmas in the book come directly from places I’ve been, people I’ve lived with, and the hardships I’ve seen endured with grace and capability. I was in Russia not long after the Soviet Union collapsed and I’ve seen society in freefall. Without realizing it at the time I think those experiences led me to dive into After the Snow with real passion.
What would western civilization look like with a few tumbles under its belt? What would happen if the things we took for granted disappeared? I wanted to write a gripping story about that scenario, but hardly felt that I was straying into fantasy in the detail.
What do you want readers to most remember about After the Snow?
We all have the capacity to survive, but in what manner? What do we turn to in those times of trouble? Those are the questions I would like people to contemplate after reading After the Snow.
How did Willo’s unique voice come to you?
Willo’s voice appeared in those crucial first few paragraphs. After that it just grew along with his world and the terrible situations that arise. I think his voice is in all of us. We don’t understand, we try to make good—maybe we find ourselves.
How did you stay warm while writing this novel?
I banked up the fire—and was warmed by hopes of spring.
About S. CrockettSee more books from this Author
Instead of being political, the story Crockett tells is a deeply human one of survival and self-discovery. “After the Snow” is a coming-of-age novel, first and foremost — a brutal, tough and sometimes truly transcendent one.Read Full Review of After the Snow | See more reviews from NY Times
By that I mean his sentence structure and word choices are very primitive. He knows how to read, but he can hardly form a complete, correct sentence. I have to admit that it was extremely hard to get through the first time I tried to read After the Snow.Read Full Review of After the Snow
After the Snow didn’t quite impress me as much as I’d hoped. The story focused more on the struggle of a single boy, rather than on that of a people as a whole.Read Full Review of After the Snow
I really don’t know what to make of this book because it was just so strange to me.Read Full Review of After the Snow
I can't exactly recommend this one to many, although you can always give it a try as it seems to be a book that would enchant a select few who get a kick out of unorthodox stories with peculiar writing styles.Read Full Review of After the Snow
I wish I could be more positive about After the Snow and recommend it for more than just the writing style, but I am more inclined to suggest a couple of other wintery reads for those who want something of the kind, but better plotted - Marcus Sedgwick's Revolver and Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness.Read Full Review of After the Snow
After The Snow is an profoundly moving story that keeps you entertain. It illuminates the world so that the reader feels the cold seeping through the pages. After The Snow is truly a good read!Read Full Review of After the Snow
There’s something going on having to do with the West dealing with the superpower of China, and government not wanting people to live outside of the cities, but with Willo’s limited narration, I never got a clear view of the reasons behind everything.Read Full Review of After the Snow
I have to admit that I’m really on the fence about After the Snow.Read Full Review of After the Snow
Very slow start but the second half is quite good. Great suspense in parts. Slangs can be difficult. Can't wait for the next book. Not like the nowadays YA dystopian, it is like 1984 dystopian.Read Full Review of After the Snow
Also, there are twists and turns in this book I was really, REALLY not expecting. And I loved them.Read Full Review of After the Snow
As I say, this review is very hard but that’s because I loved the book so much.Read Full Review of After the Snow
I did however feel that it kind of isolated Willo from us, he wasn't a relatable character because of his dialect.Read Full Review of After the Snow
Anyway, I didn't find the book to be poorly written (just poor grammar due to the protagonist's POV) and I did find the premise interesting. For me, though, I found it a little on the forgettable side.Read Full Review of After the Snow
In all honesty, I spent the majority of this novel thinking that I really didn’t like it and that it was a bit boring and not my style, and there are many different reasons why I felt this way.Read Full Review of After the Snow
Even so, I liked this book. For me, it was a unique view into a mind-set that is completely foreign and new.Read Full Review of After the Snow
If you’re looking for a great, action-packed, natural disaster-type of book, this one might not be the one for you. I’m sure this title will appeal to some, but it just wasn’t for me.Read Full Review of After the Snow
There are a lot of aspects I enjoyed but at the same time there are quite a few that I didn't.Read Full Review of After the Snow
Willo and I had a love/hate relationship going. Most of the time I couldn't connect with his character at all.Read Full Review of After the Snow
The other lovely thing about this book is the language. It’s a strange and brilliant feat to make less language seem more. Despite Willo’s limited and peculiar voice, Crockett makes it fresh with language that jumps off the page with its poetry.Read Full Review of After the Snow
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