I was very influenced by The Magic Mountain. It's a book that had a huge impact on me. I loved that as a shape for a novel: put a bunch of people in a beautiful place, give them all tuberculosis, make them all stay in a fur sleeping bag for several years and see what happens.
Well, I always say that the two things I was most disastrous at in my life, being a teenager and being a wife, were the two things I really wound up cashing in on when I was writing fluffy magazine pieces.
Part of it is living in Tennessee. I'm so out of the loop. And as a person, I'm out of the loop. I'm oblivious by nature.
Praise and criticism seem to me to operate exactly on the same level. If you get a great review, it's really thrilling for about ten minutes. If you get a bad review, it's really crushing for ten minutes. Either way, you go on.
I don't write for an audience, I don't think whether my book will sell, I don't sell it before I finish writing it.
Write because you love the art and the discipline, not because you're looking to sell something.
I think people become consumed with selling a book when they need to be consumed with writing it.
You see an absolutely brilliant film later, as an adult, and you walk out thinking about what to have for dinner. Whereas something like Jaws winds up having a huge effect on me. If only my parents had been taking me to Kurosawa films when I was eight, but no.
I can write for any magazine now, in any voice. I can do it in two hours, I could do it in my sleep, it's like writing a grocery list.
People gave me such a bad time about wanting a baby. I didn't want a baby, and I still don't. I wanted a dog.
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