You see, I was told stories,..
You see, I was told stories, we were all told stories as kids in Nigeria. We had to tell stories that would keep one another interested, and you weren't allowed to tell stories that everybody else knew. You had to dream up new ones.
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New York is a field of tireless and antagonistic interests undoubtedly fascinating but horribly unreal. Everybody is looking at everybody else a foolish crowd walking on mirrors.
Like everybody else, I've had relationships in which I was passionately in love but was completely miserable all the time and didn't trust the person I was in love with one inch.
Also, I need deadlines, just like everybody else, especially coming from magazines, newspapers, and stuff like that. I need daily or weekly deadlines to get stuff done, or I continue to do things and not go off on a year of unproductivity.
If I do a play, it's my vision, and everybody else is working on the production to support that. If I do an opera, I feel like part of my job is to support that composer, to try and create something that allows the composer to do his or her best work. In movies, it's usually the director.
I am a morning writer; I am writing at eight-thirty in longhand and I keep at it until twelve-thirty, when I go for a swim. Then I come back, have lunch, and read in the afternoon until I take my walk for the next day's writing.
I've always been into 'fast-paced, don't bore 'em, keep it moving along, stick with the story.' You know: tell a story the way I want to hear a story. I find it more rewarding to write for kids, but I also find it a little easier, because you can just let loose a little bit more in terms of fantasy and stuff.
A lot of writers, especially crime writers, have an image that we think we're trying to keep up with. You've got to be seen as dark and slightly dangerous. But I'm not like that and I've realised that I don't need to put that on. People will buy the books whether they see a photo of you dressed in black or not.
The pain of losing my child was a cleansing experience. I had to throw overboard all excess baggage and keep only what is essential. Because of Paula, I don't cling to anything anymore. Now I like to give much more than to receive.