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"With a book, you’re the product. With a magazine, the magazine is the product, therefore you have to fit into the tone of the magazine, you have to keep in mind the advertisers, the demographics of the readers of the magazine. You’re sort of fitting yourself into this product that already exists. But with a book, you are it. It’s a wonderful, heady experience that’s kind of addictive. No one really prepares you for it. Book editors don’t give you this pamphlet 'So You’re Writing a Book.'"
"Writing is like crime. The page is about what you can get away with. We break and enter, transgress, autopsy the living and dead, rob, exchange identities, lie, confess, steal. The arts of writing and successful crime are the same. Opportunity. Robbery. Seizure. Con. Misdirection. Theft. Fiction is a form of fraud, the most elegant, exquisite and complicated forms of creative fraud."
"There are a number of plot points in the book that were chosen, I know this is a stupid and inexcusable reason, but they were inspired because they actually happened and there was this real life corollary. In fact some of Adriane’s adventures had happened to a woman friend of mine who had shared one with me over the years in long, sort of disburdening phone conversation and not that I was scribbling away at the other end of the phone -- I wasn’t even thinking about these things as material when they’d tell me about it. I mean, I’m a decent friend!"
Whether I like it or not, it’s likely that no venue will be spared from embellishment with pink and red doilies and chubby cupids in the coming weeks. Even my beloved library (Columbus’ Metropolitan, voted the best library in the nation) will house displays of lovingly themed books and Valentine ephemera. Fear no evil, my pretties: before you know it you’ll be swilling copious amounts of green beer and this faux-romantic catastrophe will be long forgotten.
Here’s how the prepubertal TV-watching Sapolsky saw the Professor: “He has every book ever written somewhere in the trunk he was marooned with; he can answer any challenging question you can think of; he is forever saving everyone by rigging up some sort of scientific device…. While all this was impressive, what really got to me was his presumed connection to Mary Ann, the pretty farm girl in flannel shirt and pigtails… Because their names were linked [in the show’s theme song], I assumed that the two of them must have had something going….So it was only natural that I wanted to grow up and be the Professor and spend my time out in some remote field site.”
Barbara J. King
"Whatever the reason, when we went to war, I realized I knew next to nothing about the Middle East. This troubled me, especially when the perpetual news dispatches from the region became redundant and boring in spite of the horrors they contained. They were beyond my comprehension; I needed context. So after a time, in an effort to understand, I turned to a familiar source of comfort: the novel."
“I did this because I wasn’t convinced by a lot of historical novels. They made the characters too polite and bloodless. When you read diaries that were private, that have been found from the past, you see that the writing, if it’s good, is hot and passionate and lively and desirous. That’s what I wanted.”
"Interviewers, they’ve been like, it’s almost like they want me to admit, like, “Yeah, OK, well just between you and me, I didn’t make up any of this. We really walked around with football helmets and orange paint and,” but no (laughs). I don’t know, I guess because memoirs are popular right now or something. People just think that everything is drawn from real life and this is indirect, thickly veiled autobiography or something."
"I don't think of myself as being prolific. By the standard of nineteenth century writers, such as Carlyle and Dickens, I am not prolific at all. Quite the opposite. The process of writing a novel and a biography is much the same -- in the act of writing."
Peter Straub said that Keller reminded him of you more than your other characters. Is it hard to keep yourself out of your books?
"No, what's hard is keeping myself out of jail."