I love the comfort of daily life's routines: things like being able to read a paper on the subway. It's no accident that my favourite word is 'quotidian.'
I don't especially like to travel, not the way many people do. I know many people that love to go to far-off and different places, and I've never been like that. I seem to get homesick as quickly as a child.
I've always been tremendously interested in criminal law. It goes to a deep interest I have in prisons and the criminal element, and what we do as a society with it. I've always been touched by the idea of criminality.
I'm writing for my ideal reader, for somebody who's willing to take the time, who's willing to get lost in a new world, who's willing to do their part. But then I have to do my part and give them a sound and a voice that they believe in enough to keep going.
I do reread, kind of obsessively, partly for the surprise of how the same book reads at a different point in life, and partly to have the sense of returning to an old friend.
I don't know if I have a memory of not thinking I was a writer - it goes that far back. I went to law school because I didn't know how to earn a living otherwise. I tried to ignore the pull, but it wouldn't let me.
I don't want to live in Maine full time, but the physical beauty is very striking. It is the exact opposite of New York. When you walk through my small town to get a cup of coffee, you bump into five people you know.
In the kind of New England I'm from, you are expected to stay and marry somebody from New England - well, Maine, actually - so I think it was seen as a betrayal when I left for New York, which has been my refuge.
I think, really, that the only way a person can open their heart to someone who is so much another is really by knowing them... whether that's in a classroom, or a soccer team, or a food pantry, or any of those things. I mean, we're kind of more alike than we are different.
I do write by hand. I just think - I don't know, it's a physical thing for me. It's a bodily thing. It literally has to earn its way through my hand.
I love arranging the words and having them fall on the ear the right way, and you know you're not quite there, and you're redoing it and redoing it, and there's a wonderful thrill to it. But it is hard. It's a job of tremendous anxiety for me.
For years I did most of my reading on the F train between Brooklyn and Manhattan. I had long commutes, and I read tons of books on that train; I loved it.
In a way, I'm very interested in writing about Maine, because I think Maine represents its own kind of history. It's the oldest state, and it's the whitest state.
Oh, I do a tremendous amount of rewriting. I just obsessively rewrite. Although sometimes there are sections, sometimes you're just lucky and a paragraph will just kind of come out. And that's great. But that's not ordinary in a day's work.
We all live on so many different levels and understandably present just a small portion of ourselves in most of our everyday relationships. So as a novelist, I'm always intrigued by what's the real story, what's really going on behind the front door of someone's house, or even what's going on in the middle of the night when somebody lies awake.
The fact of the matter is I always have a really high sense of responsibility to the reader, whether it's a few readers that I get or a lot of readers, which I was lucky enough to get with 'Olive.' I feel responsible to them, to deliver something as truthful and straight as I can.
Without a doubt my mother was an inspiration for my writing. This is true in many ways, but mostly because she is a wonderful storyteller, without even knowing it.
Oh, I wish I organized my books. But I don't. I'm not an organized person. The best I can do is put the books I really like in one sort of general area, and poetry in another.
I sometimes miss the sense of excitement that I remember having when I was younger. I miss that sense of, 'Oh wow.' I think it's part of aging.
As a novelist, I like the contained drama and complexity of the courtroom, though I don't watch those shows on TV. I prefer the hospital shows because I wanted to be a doctor.