It is absolutely critical that you remain calm and clear- headed but panic and fury collide with your good intentions. Your mind reels. Rosie clings to you, sobbing. The cop peels her away and she looks at you like she can’t believe you’re letting him do this. You can’t believe you’re letting him do it either. Wendy is on the phone, calling a lawyer, talk-shouting in a strange, high-pitched wail.
The cop tells you it will all be over quicker if you all just calm down. You watch impotently as he leads your daughter away and locks her in a holding cell at the far end of the room. She wraps her little hands around the bars and looks back at you, her face distorted. Suddenly she recoils and looks at her hands in disbelief. There’s blood on the bars and now there’s blood on her hands and she holds them out to show you. You can see that she’s going to scream but no sound comes out.
-Excerpt from The Full Ridiculous
Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.
Mark Lamprell: Accident. Family. Chaos. Despair. Humour. Love. Hope.
LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?
ML: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Anna Karenina. (With my deepest apologies to Mark Haddon and Leo Tolstoy.)
LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?
ML: Mix one part comedy with one part tragedy. Season with economy, compassion and wit (fresh, if you can find some but dried will do). Add a dash of hubris. Serve without garnish.
LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.
ML: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I was fourteen when I read it. It was the first time I realized that a story could transport you to a world that you could never get to otherwise. And it was the first time I laughed out loud reading a book. Somehow that changed everything.
LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.
ML: Yes, I will accept a ten million dollar fee to name all the characters in my next novel after members of your family. (The truth is, I’ve never wished anybody asked me anything about my writing. I’m deeply superstitious about talking about writing. When I do, I always recall those celebrity couples in magazines who tell everyone how gloriously happy they are together. Next issue, they’re consciously uncoupling.)
Get a copy of The Full Ridiculous at IndieBound.
Mark Lamprell has worked in film and television for many years. He cowrote the film Babe: Pig in the City, and wrote and directed the award-winning feature My Mother Frank. He lives in Australia. The Full Ridiculous is his first novel.