The writer talks about working with filmmaker J.J. Abrams on their beautifully illustrated and executed meta-novel ‘S.’
Where did you grow up?Chappaqua, New York.Where and what did you study?As an undergrad at Stanford, I was an English and Political Science double-major. I got a law degree at UC-Berkeley, then fled to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for an MFA in fiction. A few years later, I went back to Stanford as a Stegner Fellow in fiction.Where do you live and why?I live in Austin. My wife and I moved here from San Francisco for her Ph.D. program at UT, and we’ve put down roots.
The debut short-story writer, whose book ‘The Miniature Wife’ is now out in paperback, talks about his Tumblr project, vampires and werewolves, and a dessert that’s named after him.
Describe your morning routine.So when I’m writing, and it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to do this, because it’s just been really busy…I try to get up around 5:30 in the morning. I have two kids, and my wife and I trade off getting everybody ready, but if I’m going to get any work done, I need to get it done before my day takes over, which it usually does around 7:30. So I’ll get up at 5:30, get dressed in the dark, quietly grab my bag and computer and drive out to one of a couple of 24-hour coffee shops I know of.
The author of the popular ‘Pure’ and ‘Fuse’ has completed the trilogy with the new book, ‘Burn.’ She talks about breaking into an Irish accent, her first book, and Michael Moore.
Where did you grow up?A yellow, ivy-covered house on a dead-end street in Newark, Delaware.Where and what did you study?In college, I majored in Creative Writing and French, which my father referred to as Starvation and Poverty.Where do you live and why?I’m moving from sunny Florida to the bitter cold of the progressive northeast – to be closer to family and for my kids.What’s your morning routine like, particularly with your four kids?I stay up late working (or worrying).
The prolific actor, who stars as Private Preston Savitz in this week’s ‘Monuments Men,’ is also a successful children’s book author.
Where did you grow up?Well, I was born in Chicago. My family moved there in about 1898 or so, escaped from some pogrom in Russia, got there, and eventually set up a chain of movie theaters. I got hooked on movies as a little kid and never really got over it. I love Chicago and I go back whenever I can.Is there a film that you remember seeing, an earliest one that you really loved and made you want to be in the film industry?One of my earliest memories is going to see, when I was 7 or 8, Guys and Dolls, which was playing at one of my dad’s theaters.
The best-selling author of the Alex Cross novels talks about how much of his life is spent writing outlines.
Describe your morning routine.I pretty much write seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. I’ll get up around 5:30, put my house in order, write a little bit, maybe an outline for that day. Then I’ll go out around 7, frequently walk a golf course for an hour by myself. Then I’ll come back and write until, oh, 11 or 12. It’s a combination of any business I have to do, whatever novel I’m working on, outlines … I was just compiling the number of outlines I do and found that I write about 900 pages of outlines a year.
The Korean-American writer, whose new dystopian novel is ‘On Such a Full Sea,’ speaks about his first failed book, his favorite assignment for his students, and golf.
I understand you went to Exeter Academy. Tell me about your time there.Vis-a-vis writing, Exeter was the place I got interested in writing. Not sure that would’ve happened at my local public high school. Exeter alum writers were really promoted and we always had a troop of them coming through: Gore Vidal, George Plimpton, John Irving. We had a James Agee year, where we all read Agee’s work. It’s a place where writing and writers were revered.
Famous for her novels about Americans living and loving in Paris, Diane Johnson’s new book is about home: America. She talks to Noah Charney about her writing routine, the best advice she ever got, and life in Paris.
How did you first come to live in Paris?I went to Paris as a trailing wife, when my husband John was doing medical research with a French colleague there. At first, I resisted, hoping for England, because I was and am a great Anglophile, and also I couldn’t speak French.Which neighborhood in Paris is your personal favorite and why?We lived for a number of years in the Fifth Arrondissement, and I think that’s still my favorite, for its vestiges of Roman and medieval Paris, present student life, little theaters and bookshops, foodie markets and all.
He blacks out his office and drinks gallons of tea—how the creator, Michael Connelly, of Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller writes a book a year.
I understand that you’re a big Raymond Chandler fan. Which book is your favorite and why?It’s The Little Sister. What has inspired me for going on 40 years is chapter 13. In that chapter Philip Marlowe, frustrated by the events of the day and the case he’s on, takes a ride around Los Angeles. He ruminates a bit on what is going on in his case, but the chapter has little to do with plot, and everything to do with the interplay of character and place.
The debut novelist Paul Lynch on Irish writers, advice to aspiring authors, and a funny coincidence at a book event.
Where did you grow up?I was born in Limerick city but grew up in a small town in County Donegal—remote, windy, lots of rain. That’s how I recall it. As soon as I was of an age, I got the hell out. One of the discoveries of my writing life was that my imagination was in a rush to go back there. At first, this was a source of huge frustration—I wanted to write about cities and modern life. I wrote a few exploratory short stories set in Dublin, but the moment I relocated my writing to Donegal and found for it a mythic register, the magic began to happen on the page.
On being on ‘The Simpsons,’ playing music with Stephen King, and the importance of the opening line.
Describe your morning routine.I’m usually woken by a vibration on my up-band. It’s the gradual vibration for about ten seconds, and then the chimes of my blue light. It’s just a way to wake gently. It all gently puts me into awake-mode. I play music off of my Sonos playlist. The Rachmaninoff Concerto 3 in D-minor, 1st movement. Then I have to play with my dog, who’s on the bed and has brought me a toy. We play tug-of-war. Then I have to make the bed before I do anything else, as soon as I get up.
The newly crowned National Book Award winner for fiction tells us about his pad in New York City, being able to write anywhere, and rewriting everything—even his emails.
I understand that I’ve caught you in the midst of a visit to the National Stamp Museum in DC?I’m doing an appearance here in DC. I had an hour and a half to blow, so I decided to pop into the museum, take a look around. You’re always hunting for ideas, you know?Congratulations on winning the National Book Award.I was eating an apple tart. Then they announced my book. I was stunned. Pretty surprised. I went to accept the award, and I was still holding my dinner napkin in my hand.
The influential evolutionary biologist and fierce defender of atheism on his first memories, three books he’d recommend, and having to write 3,000 words before he’d call a day productive.
What is an early and vibrant memory of yours, from growing up in Kenya?I left Kenya when I was two, so not many memories. I have a picture in my head of my father coming on leave from the army, and my recognizing him by his brown shoes. My family later moved to Nyasaland, now Malawi, and we lived there until I was seven. I remember lots from those times, but especially vivid were the yellow and black swallowtail butterflies and the taste of nasturtium leaves.
The famed geographer, whose latest book ‘The World Until Yesterday’ is out in paperback, discusses bird-watching, the size of his computer, why he wants to bring Bach back to life, and why you shouldn’t write a book until you have tenure.
Describe your morning routine.My morning on any day, regardless of whether I’m writing or not, is the same. I get up around 6am, and I go for a bird walk on my street. I live in a dead end rural canyon in Los Angeles, which is very good for bird-watching. I just came back ten minutes ago from my morning walk, which lasts between an hour and a half and two hours. My bird list for my street is 149 species! Pretty good, by North American standards.
The ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ author talks about works of art that inspire her, watching Scarlett Johansson—and the ‘Breaking Bad’ finale.
Describe your morning routine. Okay. This is assuming I’m having a productive writing day! A lot of the time that doesn’t happen. A good day? I get up, I wake my teenage son up, we have breakfast, and he leaves at 8. That’s the cue for me to go to my office. My writing life has shifted slightly over the years, but what works best for me now is if I start writing immediately. I’ll check my email to make sure there’s nothing I need to deal with right away, then I read what I’ve written the day before.
America’s most cited legal scholar, Judge Richard Posner, talks about his compulsive writing, what’s guaranteed to make him laugh, and his passion for cats.
Describe your morning routine.I don’t really have any routines. Well, if I’m at home or in the office I have a desk and a computer. And I write. I’ve never thought in terms of any particular routine. There are a lot of interruptions, emails and so on. Whenever I have free time, I write. Judicial opinions or academic stuff. I don’t have any quota of words. I understand full-time novelists, say, they will want to do a certain amount of words a day in order to finish a book.
Every week, we interview writers about their daily routine and where they keep their desks.
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