A Q&A with Rich Shapero

Q: Your past multimedia stories have fused book, music and art, but Balcony of Fog features book and video. Why the change? 

RS: The great virtue of being independent is that we can run whatever experiments we like, and this seemed like a compelling one. A complex story is an intersection of different ideas. The videos are meant to stimulate the reader’s thinking by surfacing the ideas overtly, outside the story itself. I love the fact that, under other circumstances, many of the ideas would have no relation to each other, but in the context of Balcony of Fog, they have some coherence. We hope readers will find the approach thought-provoking.

Q: The BOF video layer comprises a wildly diverse assortment of subject matters and ideas from experts in fields ranging from political history to neuroscience. How did you come to choose such an array of contributors for this project?

A: The farther afield, the better. When it comes to understanding Ingis, seeing lightning leaders in slow motion and learning about the narcissist’s false self both help.

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