3-Minute Interview: Michelle Richmond

The San Francisco writer’s second novel set in The City, “No One You Know,” is being released this week. She will appear in book readings at 7:30 p.m. July 9 at Kepler’s in Menlo Park and 7:30 p.m. July 15 at the Booksmith in San Francisco.

Your previous book set in San Francisco was a page turner, but “No One You Know” is even more. Did you plan that? I don’t think I set out to do that, but I did want this one to be a shorter book; so maybe the situations turn more quickly from one to the next.

One of your characters, Lila, is a math genius; did you really understand the math you describe? In my research, I read a lot of books about math geared toward the layperson. The reason I picked the Goldbach Conjecture to be the one Lila was trying to prove is because it’s the only famous unproven one whose concept I could understand.

Another character is a coffee expert; did you know a lot about coffee? I’m a huge coffee fan; I have to have my two-a-day fix. I knew I wanted my character Ellie to encounter a character from her past in Nicaragua, so it would make sense that working with coffee would allow her to travel to a place like that.

Your two most recent books deal in big ways with the theme of loss — why? For me, for the reader to feel something about the characters, my impulse is to start from a place where the narrator has to make peace with herself.

Why do your books take place in San Francisco? It’s a city of mystery, great physical beauty and quirkiness, I’ve been here for 10 years now, and I consider it home.

Will “The Year of Fog” be a movie? It’s been optioned and a screenplay has been written — not by me.

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