You know, people call mystery novels or thrillers 'puzzles.' I never understood that, because when I buy a puzzle, I already know what it is. It's on the box. And even if I don't, if it's a 5,000-piece puzzle of the 'Mona Lisa', it's not like I put the last piece in and go, 'I had no idea it's the 'Mona Lisa'!'
The muse is not an angelic voice that sits on your shoulder and sings sweetly. The muse is the most annoying whine. The muse isn't hard to find, just hard to like - she follows you everywhere, tapping you on the shoulder, demanding that you stop doing whatever else you might be doing and pay attention to her.
The state of New Jersey is really two places - terrible cities and wonderful suburbs. I live in the suburbs, the final battleground of the American dream, where people get married and have kids and try to scratch out a happy life for themselves. It's very romantic in that way, but a bit naive. I like to play with that in my work.