10 Things You Didn’t Know About Glorify Each Day
By John Banks
- A few small parts of the novel are my own little tribute to the television show Lost. I became pretty well obsessed with the show (although I must admit that I was very disappointed with the story arc during its final season – but that would be another blog post!). Although nothing in Glorify Each Day has anything to do with time travel, desert islands or smoke monsters, I started writing it as the show was winding down and I thought it would be fun to insert at least a little bit of the show into the novel. I’ll leave it up to the readers to spot some of the references, but I will say that two of the important characters’ names come indirectly from the show.
- Another (very minor) tribute in the novel is to Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I had just finished reading it before starting Glorify. There is a character in Infinite Jest named John Wayne, and, of course, anyone reading it will understand the reference to the All-American cowboy hero (never mind the fact that Wallace’s John Wayne is Canadian!). I thought it would be funny to insert my own ultra-conservative take-no-prisoners cowboy-type character name into my novel, so I named one of my characters Oliver North – certainly not as well-known and archetypal as John Wayne, but just a little doff of the chapeau to the late, great Wallace.
- My family had a Chihuahua when I was a boy, but I was always very nice to the little critter!
- The reason I wrote a “dirty” version of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” bit is that I was amazed that it apparently had never been done before. When I first got the idea, I went to the internet and assumed I would find information on the Smothers Brothers or Cheech and Chong or someone I had never heard of doing some raunchy version of that famous comedy routine. It seemed like such an obvious thing to do, given the skit’s fame, and I still assume that someone, somewhere, has done something similar to what I do with Teach and his dad and their little skit. But I had to do it within the context of the larger story I was telling, so I used it as a way of bridging the gap between Teach and his dad, of Teach expressing his forgiveness of his dad the only way he knew how to do it.
- I also wanted to do a send-up of the popular late-night talk shows, which are, in my opinion, slow-paced to the point of being boring. I attribute that to the pressures of having to do five shows a week – I’m sure it’s enormously difficult to come up with quality material for that much airtime, so it’s natural to want to slow things down and stretch the humor out as thinly as possible. I decided to pick on David Letterman, though all these shows are guilty of the same crime.
- I have no idea how Tyroniko Huy’s name is pronounced. But then again, you probably wouldn’t find out from him, either! I do, however, know how to pronounce “Toxononomonee.”
- Since researching this book, I now know more about opossums than I really want to.
- The hardest part of the novel for me to write was probably all the little jokes that Tommy and Cait scribble to each other in college. It wasn’t easy thinking up all of those jokes. As actors always say, anyone can do drama – it’s comedy that’s hard.
- The first page I wrote for the novel was the very last part of the scene with Tommy and Charles at the river. It provided the emotional framework for the whole story, of how it is possible for someone to do something so dreadful that it haunts the rest of his life. Everything else followed from that. And the first parts of that scene were written long after the last part. I knew how the scene was going to end long before I knew how it was going to begin!
- The last thing I wrote for the novel (not counting the numerous edits and rewrites) was the painful break-up scene between Tommy and Cait. I procrastinated writing that scene for as long as I could, for the simple fact that I hated the idea of breaking up such a wonderful love affair, but I knew it had to be done!
John Banks was born in Asheville, NC. His storytelling is very much in the Southern tradition, with a special affinity for humorists such as Mark Twain and the Old Southwest school of writers. Though entirely imaginary, much of the material in Glorify Each Day must have come from his many years as a teacher in the public schools and community colleges of his native state and from the three years he spent as an a community college administrator.