Eric Beck Rubin’s enthralling debut School of Velocity is both a psychologically taut tale about a virtuoso pianist plagued by unwanted music, and also a wonderful exploration of an intense and all-consuming boyhood friendship, and the way it translates into adulthood.
Read on to find out about Eric’s writing space and how it inspires his work.
Where do you usually write?
I’ve tried writing at libraries, cafés, etc, but self-consciousness takes hold. I’m at a café, like a Writer. If I want to get work done, I stay home, where I don’t have to worry about how I appear to others – or myself.
What do you have on your desk?
Visual clarity equals mental clarity – that’s the idea. There’s a framed photo of my wife in the arcade at Parc Guell, a bronze-coloured Franz Joseph commemorative coin that acts as a paperweight, and a stack of current reading. There’s also a sketch, by an architect friend, Steve Chodoriwsky, of the family tree that is the basis of my next novel.
Which is the most inspiring object in your workspace?
The photograph of my wife inspires me to write something entertaining. To her right, hanging on the wall, there’s an encaustic painting of a landscape – it’s made by applying layer upon layer of tinted wax until an image takes shape. Aside from beauty and skill, there’s evidence of a great deal of patience and discipline in the work. It was a gift from my grandmother.
What can you see from your window?
I live in a Victorian house and look out a bay window on the second floor. In winter, the view is of a rooftop playground at the community centre across the street; in summer, it’s the leaves and branches of my neighbour’s big old oak. The cycle of life – I think that’s the message here.