I think the reason these readers come back to me is because I represent their points of view. It may not be my point of view, but that’s OK. Everyone still deserves to have their say.
I don’t have to live the lives of my characters to write about them. It’s about really putting yourself in their shoes.
Even though I don’t write about things that come from my life because I’m lucky, and I live in a great place with great kids and, you know, a great husband, I think you can find threads of me in the characters, so that’s really what being a writer is, probably.
I think the ‘New York Times’ reviews overall tend to overlook popular fiction, whether you’re a man, woman, white, black, purple or pink. I think there are a lot of readers who would like to see reviews that belong in the range of commercial fiction.
I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it – when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands.
As an American I wanted to explore… why are we the only first world country that still has capital punishment? Is it because we’re too afraid to really examine the system, or is it because we really truly believe that this is the best way to deter future crime?
I think I have sort of gravitated toward issues that I don’t know the answers to, because that’s what’s more interesting for me to write.
You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.
People are always afraid of the unknown – and banding together against the Thing That Is Different From Us is a time-honoured tradition for rallying the masses.
When you’re stuck, and sure you’ve written absolutely garbage, force yourself to finish and then decide to fix or scrap it – or you will never know if you can.
My friends say I have two speeds: fast and blistering.
If a woman writes about family and about the connections between people and what it means to be alive in this day and time, it’s called women’s fiction. And if a man does it, it’s nominated for a National Book Award. What – you can’t have a heart and a penis? That doesn’t make sense.
Many of my books come from what if questions that I can’t answer, things that I’m worried about as either a woman, a wife, a mom, an American.
I think there are readers out there and I don’t think the book is dead. And more importantly I don’t think readers have to choose between literary and commercial fiction.
If you read the first page of one of my novels, I can guarantee that you will read the last one. This isn’t just social commentary. This is also about writing good page-turners. I want people to keep reading.