Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Author Michael D'Antonio discusses "Mortal Sins,’ his book about clergy and sex abuse

  • Article by: SPIKE CARLSEN , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 5, 2013 - 7:43 AM

Q: Your book contains 26 pages of endnotes, a 50-book bibliography and scores of interviews. How do you mold such a vast amount of material into a book?

A: I start by casting a very wide net, hauling up everything inside, then examining it all. Then I throw out the shorties. You can start seeing what’s important as you sort. I often plot out a book in scenes; it’s something writers have inherited from filmmakers in our visual age. A movie starts playing in my head, and I start seeing people as characters that have certain experiences, they exit, the plot may change, and then they may pop up in a different scene.


Q: How did writing this book and hearing survivors’ stories affect you personally?

A: I had nightmares about this, literally. My wife is a therapist and I jokingly tell people I’m in residential treatment. But I interviewed many survivors of abuse and discovered when we tell stories and talk to each other and listen there’s a healing process that takes place — and it works in both directions.


Q: Finally, if you and I were to walk over to the tattoo parlor right now, what would you have inked on your forearm?

A: There are so many things in life to learn and do, and so many great causes to work toward, I think it would say “Don’t Hesitate.”


Spike Carlsen is a Stillwater-based writer.

  • related content

  • St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael D'Antonio.

  • Michael D'Antonio's "Mortal Sin"

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


question of the day

Poll: Which is your favorite classic Italian sweet?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters