I love real books, paper books, but I also love buying online, and I think that people are more willing to take a chance to read something if it's cheaper - sometimes books on the Kindle are $6. A hardback book is $25. For $25, it better be a really great book. Or you're going to be mad.
I love rewriting because that is where and how you discover the story. It's like you have this skeleton, and you get to put flesh on it and hair and clothes and really wonderful jewelry.
I had a nervous breakdown at 17 when my first love left me, and he was a typical bad boy, albeit a charismatic one, with a string of broken hearts trailing behind him.
By the time I was 5, I was already an outcast. It was the early 1960s, and I was part of the only Jewish family in a decidedly Christian suburb of Waltham, Mass.
I call Algonquin Books 'the gods and goddesses of publishing.' Not only did they give me a career, they care deeply about every writer in their flock.
My dirty little secret is I don't drive at all, though I have my license and I renew it every five years. I'm phobic. I keep worrying if I drive, I'll end up killing someone. I hoped that by writing about a car crash, I might understand and heal this phobia, but I didn't! I'm still phobic.
A title means marketing. It means that company's coming soon, and you'd better get out the Christmas lights so they don't miss your house.
I'm a big believer in quantum physics, which says that the universe is more incredible and mysterious than any of us can imagine, which is my way of saying, 'Anything is possible, including angels.'
I had always known that I was Jewish - we celebrated the holidays, we went to a synagogue - but I had never known that I was supposed to feel ashamed about it.
Literature can allow us to experience the best side of humankind, where instead of giving up, we struggle desperately in the ruins for love, connection and hope.
If a kid disappears, now there's Amber Alerts: they know this-this-this. In the '50s, we kids wandered around. Nobody knew what you were doing.
Is there nothing the prodigiously talented Ann Patchett can't do? She's channeled the world of opera, Boston politics, magic, unwed motherhood, and race relations, creating scenarios so indelible, you swear they are right outside your door.
A lot of people hurl themselves into relationships to lose themselves, but I think the best relationships help us to be more ourselves, to bring forth our best selves.
I absolutely want and prize and love and revere every single media review I get, but if I got 50 reviews from major newspapers and one review from Amazon, I still would feel a little weird: 'What's going on? Why aren't people responding?'
All writers know how important a good title is. It's the first thing readers see, along with a knock-your-socks-off cover - a seductive 'come hither' for the story within.
I cried to my mother that I wanted to go to Hebrew school; I wanted Jewish friends. But when my mother took me, the kids there all knew each other, and somehow I was even more of an outcast.
I'm big on story structure. I studied with John Truby, who mapped out story by means of moral wants and needs, and that's what I do. Hey, so does John Irving.
Indie bookstores love writers as much as they love readers, and there is something about a community store, where you walk in, you feel known, and the delight in books is just infectious.
I tell myself that some names can be mistakes, like Mxyplyzyk, a store in New York that lost customers because few could spell its name to look up the address. I tell myself that lots of writers agonize over titles, and often get them wrong at first.
When self-publishing started, it was mostly people who really couldn't write. And they just wanted to get their book out, and they couldn't get traditional deals.