Interview with J.B. Fitzgerald, Author of The Sylver Platter: Becoming

20 Mar 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Sylver Platter: Becoming?

The inspiration for The Sylver Platter actually came from my dog who, at the time I’d begun writing this novel, we’d only recently adopted. I’d suffered a devastating loss several months earlier that had left me with terrible writer’s block while I’d been researching for a work of historical fiction. One day I looked at Maisie. She cocked her head and spoke in that hilarious Wookiee way that she does. Suddenly I was laughing and thinking about how far she’d come from the frightened, abandoned mother of nine to this sassy, smart, affectionate, and highly communicative companion. That instantly inspired canine sidekick, Moondogger, but it also conjured an image of a most unlikely and similarly transformed hero. From that moment onward, I spent my days with an introverted, plus-sized pacifist as she struggled to overcome her sheltered existence and everything she believed about herself to become something no one would ever expect of a woman like her: a superhero.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Sylver Platter: Becoming, what would they be?

For both Sylvia and Celia, Rachel Platten’s Fight Song would certainly be apropos, but, as tragedies mount, as more obstacles unfold, I’d say our heroine would definitely be rocking out to Katy Perry’s Roar.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I grew up on the classics and, while I’ll delve into those or historical fiction periodically, I lean toward both magical realism and lighter speculative fantasies these days, character-driven stories that pull me out of the harsh realities of the modern world and into fantastical places or situations. I most enjoy writing within these genres as well. Whether I’m penning a tale myself or immersed in another author’s work, much like dreaming, these literary reveries provide a delicious escape.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

How long have you got?

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I’d have to say there were many, but, while there is a sense of satisfaction that comes with finishing off the kind of adrenaline-pumping confrontation expected of a superhero, I think my favorite scenes would be those lighthearted moments between Sylvia, Celia, and Rudyard when their open playfulness with one another, their unshakeable bonds really shine. These three, to me, are the epitome of true friendship and chosen family, and I hope my readers will feel that connection to them as well.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Most every morning my work begins before I’ve even stumbled out of bed. It’s a rare day that a scene isn’t playing out, developing in my mind while heavy eyelids are still begging me to go back to sleep. Once I get through my morning routine (not a dance routine, because, I assure you, that would be horrifically frightening), I call my lovely assistant, sometimes by playing a sweet little kalimba tune she can’t seem to resist. Only after eighty pounds of German shepherd-beagle mix curl up beside me does that previously imagined scene find its way onto the page. Maisie is not only my muse and indispensable helper, she is very much the inspiration behind Sylvia’s own extraordinary canine, Moondogger. She’s also a wonderful listener, even through the earliest drafts of a story.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Never grant anyone else the power to define who you are.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

So many of us have felt like we don’t belong, that we’re living outside the mainstream because of our differences, but those differences—the things that set us sometimes painfully apart from our peers—can ultimately become our greatest assets. Every one of us possesses an inner strength we may not know we have until it is tested. Like Sylvia Platt, every one of us holds the power to become the hero of our own stories.


J.B. Fitzgerald is the author of the new book The Sylver Platter: Becoming

Connect with J.B. Fitzgerald

Author Site


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