"Just how collaborative can and should a book be? We tend to think that a novel (unlike a film or play, for instance) is essentially the work of an individual. That was certainly my understanding as I grew up. But is this really the case?"
"I had read somewhere a few years ago that by asking repeatedly for something would automatically increase your odds of getting what you want. In other words, if someone says no, it really means maybe. If you ask again and provide more detail, your chances of them saying yes increases considerably."
When forming an opinion about a story, is a reader supposed to take into account all the drafts, all the discarded plots and edited out characters, re-imagined scenes, and sacrifices the author has made while bringing the words to life?
"I would say one of the hardest things about being an author is dealing with insecurity. When I was writing my first novel, I only told a very few people that were really close to me that I was actually writing a book with plans to publish it."
"The setting of a novel is critical, particularly for a mystery or thriller. After all, in addition to providing details that enrich the story, the setting can actually assist, or impede, an investigation. Choosing a familiar setting is usually a good idea for a mystery or a thriller because it should directly influence the characters and the plot."
"You talk about sequels, movies, television pilots, and those someday book signings, the ones with screaming fans lined up around the block. Oh, yes, this book is a blockbuster. Now, there’s just the little matter of writing it."
"I deliberately set my story and created its characters and events based on my real life experience--places, people and a profession that I was very familiar with... This familiarity and real life experience is essential for me to write vividly and convincingly. I wanted my readers to be able to see the people and places of Long Hill Home, and feel as if they are in the book—a true vicarious experience. I couldn’t do that without using my real life experience."
"Either the instructor was quite talented or I was ripe for a new adventure, because I was completely drawn into the experience. I found that once I settled my thoughts, once I focused on breathing slowly, evenly, an entirely new set of ideas found their way into my conscious mind."
"Writing novels has taught me that while happy endings are not always possible, they are always plausible. There is virtue in taking a risk of the heart or of the mind. In its best form, risk is faith."