with Garth Stein
of “The Art of Racing in the Rain”
Texas, August 5, 2019
Ron Salfen: I
was curious about the use of Kevin Costner's voice to narrate.
Did you have someone else in mind when you wrote it?
Garth Stein: I didn't know.
I didn't have anybody in mind.
I will say that in the book, Enzo says he sounds like James Earl
Jones. But when I heard that
Kevin Costner was going to do it, it was pretty exciting.
He's such an icon, and I immediately watched “Field of Dreams”
again and thought “Hey, this is a good choice.”
RS: I have
a grand-dog, myself, and when I take her out on walks, I notice that
inside she's a pet, but outside, she's a dog.
a good explanation---to be there for you, in the environment you created,
but then outside, it's time to take off that leash and go chase a
think one of the things you really captured was the emotional connection
between humans and dogs. That
is so important.
thanks. It's all about
unconditional love, you know. Dogs
don't expect much from us except fresh water and a food bowl.
So you can have a relationship unfettered by expectations.
Whereas with people, there are a lot of expectations for behavior:
“You need to act this way to earn my love. “ So in the name of
unconditional love, we should treat each other more like dogs!
friend of mine lost her dog last year, and right now she can't abide the
thought of getting another one.
I lost mine last year, too. 14
years, the relationship with the kids growing up and all, I haven't been
able to get a new one yet, either.
like grieving, isn't it?
one day we'll be able to move forward, but right now we're still just
honoring the memory.
about that one time in the movie he got really mad at the dog, how does
the dog respond?
when I would yell at mine, she'd go stand behind the kids.
are some of your favorite authors?
Steinbeck. Ernest Hemingway.
And that new book, “There, There” by Tommy Orange. But there
are so many, it's like asking what's my favorite band.
have so many different kinds of scents.
Did you do much research on all that?
GS: Not so
much. There's some stuff in the book that came from research I did years
ago, about grand mal seizures, and how dogs could actually smell the
different chemical states of the brain, and I found that fascinating.
There are dogs that can smell skin cancer and lung cancer.
what's next for you?
graphic novel, out next summer. It's
fun. And then I've got a novel
about a couple of old ladies who become new best friends.
for your time. And thanks for
the emphasis on unconditional love.
to meet you.