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Did he steal her story? A Literary Mystery at the Heart of Keziah Weir's First Novel

Otherwise I would be reading astronomy and physics. One of them was written by a lady named Lou Page — Starry Sky — she’s a geologist, but she wrote it to Self-taught astronomy. I’m thinking of Carl Sagan and people whose books are that type of writing. My reading life also begins with very specific people I studied as an undergraduate. I’m reading Nicole Krauss and Zadie Smith’s articles and Toni Morrison. I see the potential for you to, you know, be a woman writer and write about women. Exciting.

In your magazine career, now

Vanity Fair, you have written and edited book reviews, profiles and other magazine news. Can you talk about the relationship between your own non-fiction and fiction work?

I grew up reading magazines. I remember there was a Lindsay Lohan Vanity Fair cover, and I was sure my mom had it, and I just sneaked into my room. Both novels and magazines are a big part of my life. I think getting inside someone else’s head, being immersed in their story, can come in two forms.

I didn’t get an MFA, but I’ve interviewed authors I’ve loved over the years [and] profiles Zadie Smith, Nicole Krauss, and Rebecca Solnit. [In doing so,] I was also trying to learn how to be a writer. And I’m really lucky that two people can talk to each other.

Did you have a run-in and meeting with Martin on par with Sal?

I did it. I read at the New York Public Library. After reading it, we wandered around and there was a reception in the next room with cheese plates and too much cheap red wine. This guy in his 38 started chatting with me as soon as he walked over. I was 16. He said all these wonderful things that I was so happy to hear at the time — my life was going to be so good and he could see that I was a writer. Later, the professor who invited me said, “You know that’s Hampton Fancher who wrote Blade Runner

?” It didn’t mean much to me at the time, it just felt like, ” Oh, that’s cool.” I’d already started writing Martin and Moira’s Shadow, but I think it gave me something to hold on to. In some ways, this is similar to what happened to Thrall and Martin. Then physically, it’s completely different. But it opens up narrative paths.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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