I never played inside as a kid - even in the rain I'd go out.
I guess whatever maturity is there may be there because I've been keeping a journal forever. In high school my friends would make fun of me - you're doing your man diary again. So I was always trying to translate experience into words.
For me it was perfect, because it wasn't a very competitive environment, and it was a studio program. They basically send you off, and say, bring us some work, and we'll help you improve it. It really rewarded self-discipline.
I do fish. I think there is a connection between thinking and fishing mostly because you spend a lot of time up to your waist in water without a whole lot to keep your mind busy.
I feel like it has gone very fast for me, but I feel like it wasn't instantaneous, at all. I was getting a lot of rejections. I just got very lucky and it happened quickly for me. I don't feel like I'm a prodigy or something.
Anyone who has spent a few nights in a tent during a storm can tell you: The world doesn't care all that much if you live or die.
I found my first novel difficult. I don't want to make it sound like it's any more difficult than driving a cab or going to any other job, but there are so many opportunities for self-doubt, that you just kind of need to soldier on.
I've been getting into Nick Drake lately, the folk singer. Sad, gorgeous stuff.
It took me about three years to write About Grace. I wasn't teaching two of those years, so I was working eight-hour days, five days a week. And it would include research and reading - it wasn't just a blank page, laying down words.
Short stories are wonderful and extremely challenging, and the joy of them, because it only takes me three or four months to write, I can take more risks with them. It's just less of your life invested.