When it comes to writing dramatic fiction, one rule that a lot of writers follow is 'Chekhov's gun.' It’s the technique of having something show up in Act One that doesn’t take on significance until much later.

For novelist Margot Livesey, Chekhov's gun is almost literal. In 2009, she wrote a column for the Boston Globeabout her efforts to buy a firearm in Cambridge, and seven years later she’s published a novel inspired by that experience. It’s entitled "Mercury," and it's the story of how the marriage between Scottish optometrist Donald Stevenson and his wife, Viv, falls apart after Viv becomes obsessed with a remarkable horse named, of course, Mercury.

Margot Livesey joined Boston Public Radio to discuss the book, her experience teaching writing at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, and more. She’ll be at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 15th to talk about it. 

To hear more from Margot Livesey, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.