I think every fiction writer, to a certain extent, is a schizophrenic and able to have two or three or five voices in his or her body. We seek, through our profession, to get those voices onto paper.
As a young boy, I read 'Cheaper by the Dozen' and immediately became neurotic about my use of time. It taxed me severely, but only for the next 50 years. But I think it also allowed me to discipline myself to sit in the chair and be a writer, where one of the most needed qualities is patience.
I'm about to read Scott Turow's 'Innocent.' I've been hungry for this book since he first told me it was in the works. I'm a serious Turow fan.
My favorite novel is 'To Kill a Mockingbird' because of its broad sweep, its tackling of big issues in ways that even young minds can make sense of and for the heart of the characters, who span a wide range of ages. I reread it every year.
I'm still only half the writer I hope I will be.
The way you get better is putting words on the page and getting them behind you.
For the first-time novelist you've got to get up at 5:30 in the morning and write until 7, make breakfast and go to work. Or, come home and work for an hour. Everybody has an hour in their day somewhere.
I've been running from, and toward, death all my life, more aware of it than a person should be.
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