I sit in front of this computer, miles and weeks away from the people who are to populate this book. I can feel some details slipping from my mind, others I hadn't thought much about appearing again. I can't recall the location of the restaurant where Mune and Hikmat had their first marital fight, at the beginning of their honeymoon - but I can see every stitch of threadwork on Mune's dress whose transparency was responsible for the fight. More than anything, I remember how her voice sounded when she told me about the dress, the fight, her honeymoon. I can remember every timbre - its fullness, its joyful sorrow, its warmth, its loss. Mune, 11 years a widow, misses her fights with Hikmat as much as their tranquil evening walks. Her voice as she recalls this fight tells me this.
So here I am, trying to recreate the impact this voice had on me for my future readers, who will have only words on paper painting and scoring this scene for them.
Each interview is a play, a piece of finely orchestrated theater. The theater of interview follows the patterns of classical drama. The long hours spent building trust are a kind of rising action, which lead to a climax where the interview subject reveals some emotional truth. At that moment when the interview subject is lost in the story, I can see his/her past thoughts and actions, and that moment of revelation is seductive. In the catharsis following a revelation, intimacy is born. And intimacy is the stuff of good stories.
Part of what I'd like my future readers to experience is the thrill I feel when these characters reveal something to me - a detail, a thought, a story they've never told before. The incredible intimacy of that moment is a priviledge to witness, and a greater priviledge to write down.