Q&A: Paul Robertson (An Elegant Solution)
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, LEONHARD?
Leonhard Euler was an eighteenth century mathematician, regarded as one of history's greatest. He was a prolific author of mathematic papers and a steadfast Christian. His personality in the book is all fictional, of course, but seems to fit the historical record: eager, eccentric, humble, distracted. He says in the book: "I was not a man of gravity. I wasn't imposing, as Master Johann was. I wasn't formidable, nor solid. I didn't have years of wisdom written on me. I was only somewhat tall and gangling, with a voice pitched like an old cat, and eyes too large and close about my angular nose."
WHERE DID YOU GET THE INITIAL IDEA FOR THE BOOK?
That's always hard to say. It started with the main character, Leonhard, and just grew.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WRITING THIS NOVEL?
Just completing it. I write slowly - sometimes two sentences take an hour. I appreciate Bethany House's patience.
THERE ARE A LOT OF MOVING PARTS IN THIS NOVEL. HOW MUCH RESEARCH AND PLANNING?
Just lots of reading. Histories of the time, Leonhard Euler's own writings, descriptions of Basel and Switzerland, and of Universities of the time. Anything that intrigued me, I tried to find a place in the book to include it.
THE TITLE IS CAPTIVATING--HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH IT?
The editor at Bethany House usually asks me for title ideas, but this was not one of the titles I suggested. I think it's a good title. Once I knew what Bethany had chosen, I was able to incorporate it into the story.