A good novel is a good novel, pointe finale. And I think what I'm writing is exactly that.
I had to learn compassion. Had to learn what it felt like to hate, and to forgive and to love and be loved. And to lose people close to me. Had to feel deep loneliness and sorrow. And then I could write.
Every decade of my life I attempted to write a novel. But I had nothing to say. I was far too self-absorbed, and now I realize I was writing for others, so that they'd applaud me, see my genius, tell me how wonderful I am, or be jealous of my success.
A journalist also needs to be disciplined, and so do I. I am, essentially, lazy. Without discipline I'd be just a mass of gummy bears on the sofa instead of on book tour with my eighth novel.
To be honest, the only thing I ever really wanted to be was a writer - since I read 'Charlotte's Web' as a child.
I've seen enough successful writers who no longer seem to care when they are recognized with an award, and I think that's just tragic.
Winning doesn't mean my book is better than anyone else's. It means I'm very fortunate. And I should be very, very aware of that. And grateful.
A good journalist, as you know, is a great listener. And so's a good writer. And I got to listen to people for almost 20 years. That serves me well, I hope, when I try to understand how a character might be feeling, or how they might react.
I turned down all the requests for the rights to the books, for years, mostly because they wanted the rights to the characters, and to turn it into a TV series. This would have allowed them to do anything they wanted with the characters, and that just wasn't an option for me.
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