Episode 190: Protagonists and Point of View — Interview with Chloe Benjamin

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I am delighted to have author Chloe Benjamin on the show!

Chloe received an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin, and her first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Her latest novel, The Immortalists, received extraordinary pre-publication excitement and has already been optioned for a major U.S. television series. I myself have been buzzing about this book since May 2017 where it was featured in the BookExpo America Adult Buzz Panel.

Listen in as we chat about Chloe’s awesome new book, and crafting an overarching narrative in a story with shifting points of view.

In this episode Chloe and I discuss:

  • The art of the prologue, when to use one and how to do it right.
  • Combining shifting character perspectives with a continuous narrative thread.
  • Crafting a multiple protagonist story.
  • Doing justice to your secondary characters while keeping them in a supporting role.
  • How to hit the right emotional notes in your readers.

Plus, Chloe’s #1 tip for writers.

About Chloe Benjamin

Chloe Benjamin is the author of the novel The Anatomy of Dreams, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A San Francisco native, Chloe is a graduate of Vassar College and of the University of Wisconsin, where she received her MFA in fiction. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in The Millions, PANK, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere.

She lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin, is twenty-eight years old, and her latest novel The Immortalists is available now.

To connect with Chloe check out her website at www.chloebenjaminbooks.com.

The Immortalists

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. In search of one thing they can know for sure, the Gold children–four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness–sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Though the siblings keep the dates secret from one another, their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in 1980s San Francisco. Dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy. Eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate. And bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

The Immortalists tells a profoundly moving and compulsively readable family love story about life, mortality and the choices we make.

Is it better to live a long and cautious life, or to burn brightly, but for the shortest time?


If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!


Link to Episode 190

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