I love to write, so it rarely seems like work - even when it gets arduous.
Catch me on a good day, I think half of my books aren't too bad. Catch me on a bad day, I think I've never written a good line.
It's good not only to realize that you can't please all of the people all of the time, but that you don't want to. There's a certain type of reader that you don't ever want to write for.
I have a lot of rage about things that didn't happen to me, tied up with watching an immigrant, working-class father struggle to make his way through the world - and seeing how society was modeled to keep him in his place.
The world does not have tidy endings. The world does not have neat connections. It is not filled with epiphanies that work perfectly at the moment that you need them.
Narrative becomes the way you make sense of chaos. That's how you focus the world. It's the only reason you should ever try this writing job.
I believe so deeply in the primacy of language, in lifting your prose to the highest level you're capable of and making your words symphonic.
I was blessed to grow up in really interesting times and to go back to a home where I was very safe.
I sort of play golf because a lot of my friends are into it, but I'm awful - my handicap is about six or seven thousand.
I was not going to use writing for advertising or journalism. I would tend bar, load trucks, chauffeur - do whatever it took. But from the moment I took my first writing workshop, I was a writer.
Don't get me wrong, I love literary fiction. It's faux literary fiction I can't stand.
The best thing that can happen to people entering creative professions is the dwindling of all other possibilities.
I found that I could write two kinds of short stories: I could write very absurd, kind of surrealistic, funny stories; or I could write very dark, realistic - hyper-realistic - stories. I was never happy with that, because I couldn't meld the two.
I won the parental lottery. Most of the kids I grew up with either came from really fractured homes, or really violent ones. I went home to a very traditional, good Irish Catholic family.
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