Eastmoreland author Kevin Desinger recently saw his first novel published.
'The Descent of Man' (Unbridled Books, March 2011) is a literary mystery that explores what drives human impulses. Desinger performed readings and book signings on May 3rd at Powell's Books downtown, and then returned to Inner Southeast on the evening of May 7th to read from his book at Woodstock Wine and Deli - because in a way, that's where it all began!
'I write literary fiction with a variety of Pacific northwest settings and stories,' he explains. 'My next novel, based in the San Juan Islands, centers on a man and his relationship with his grandfather.'
Desinger has written steadily since the 1980's, after attending the Iowa Writers Workshop. He wrote for magazines in California, then moved to Oregon, where he wrote for The Oregonian and Willamette Week. "Since then, I've just written novels - no short stories or other pieces,' he says.
'My wife and I have always been interested in wine-tasting,' he continues. 'We started at Woodstock Wine and Deli, where we were served by a wine steward named Jim. I began imagining what it would be like to be 'in his head', in different circumstances - an thus the idea for this novel began.
'The publisher came up with an idea to label an Oregon pinot noir with 'The Descent of Man' label, to present to booksellers for advertising the novel. Jim allowed me to use his name for my main character, and said he'd like to pour wine at my reading at the Woodstock Deli, so that's where I introduced my book to the neighborhood.'
Desinger has an early morning routine for writing, but always carries note cards to record his ideas while they're fresh. 'I get up really early in the morning, and write until about 7:30 am,' he explains. 'I like it being dark, with no distractions, and watching the sun come up.' He also enjoys pursuing quieter, solitary hobbies when he's not writing. 'Fishing and woodworking are my favorites.'
The action in 'The Descent of Man' builds gradually from domesticity into a suspenseful web of sinister events that entangle Jim's life with the realities of violent choices that he decides to make. The book has been called an 'exciting debut novel'.