We write in ways that, we generally hope, reflect real life, or at least look familiar to humans. And in life, recurring themes are a recurring theme. We never quite conquer a pet vice or a relationship pattern or a communication habit. We're haunted by our particular demons.
I don't like to do too much psychological research because it might turn a character into a patchwork.
There were about ten years of trying, failing, trying again, suffering rejection, etc. My first published book, 'Story of a Girl', was the fourth book I wrote.
When the reader and one narrator know something the other narrator does not, the opportunities for suspense and plot development and the shifting of reader sympathies get really interesting.
I have no desire to go back to San Francisco.
I wouldn't say I'm stuck in my adolescence, but I think, like a lot of people, I carry my teen years with me. I feel really in touch with those feelings, and how intense and complicated life seems in those years.
I remember being in high school and listening to Vivaldi's 'Winter' and being so overwhelmed with emotion.
The one reader I'm trying to please as I write is me, and I'm pretty difficult to please.
I'm always in a place that is sincere but conflicted about different things that come with being a Christian and being an active, churchgoing Christian.
I always felt that church is where I'm going to find my community and people to live my life with.
Readers want a story, not a pattern. It's the specifics of a story that make it really ping our various reader radars.
Family or love or romance, whatever it is, is not restricted to perfect people. If it were, it wouldn't exist. All of that comes out in my work in some way.
I do have a little bit more confidence in - or at least familiarity with - my process. For example, when it feels like it's going badly or that I'm lost, I know I'll eventually find my way because I've been through it before. But writing itself is still hard.
One of my favorite authors is Robert Cormier. He was a devout Catholic and a very nice man, which might not be the impression you get from reading his books.
When my characters are questioning things, it's not me leading up to an answer; it's me asking those same questions and letting the characters' lives unfold and seeing where it takes them.
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