I wanted to do a weird..
I wanted to do a weird book and reestablish my independent, small-press roots.
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I never read detective novels. I started out in graduate school writing a more serious book. Right around that time I read 'The Day of the Jackal' and 'The Exorcist'. I hadn't read a lot of commercial fiction, and I liked them.
In the books I have written, I have created in my mind a universe. My kids say I have a village in my head and I live in that village, and it's true. When I start writing a book, characters from previous books reappear. All my emotions, my mind, my heart, my dreams, everything becomes connected with a new book, and nothing else really matters.
I used to think that: whenever I heard that someone had taken 10 years to write a novel, I'd think it must be a big, serious book. Now I think, 'No - it took you one year to write, and nine years to sit around eating Kit Kats.'
If the White House could do more to tell parents that getting children reading is their business too, we'd see a big difference. Hollywood and the NBA or NFL could step in, too. In England they have an event called Book Day, where every child receives a pound to use at any bookstore.
I write synopses after the book is completed. I can't write it beforehand, because I don't know what the book's about. I invent something for my publisher because he asks for one, but the final book ends up very differently.
I was just on the edge of getting married, and I was frenzied at the prospect of this great step in my life after having been a bachelor for so long. And I really wanted to take my mind off of the agony, and so I decided to sit down and write a book.
In 2011, I announced that I was going to retire, and my agent panicked. So she says: 'No, no, no. You have to write a book with your husband.' My husband is a writer of crime novels. His name is William Gordon. And so I had to accommodate to his style because that's what he writes. So we decided we'd give it a try. Well, we almost divorced.
Writing about 2,000 words in three hours every morning, 'Casino Royale' dutifully produced itself. I wrote nothing and made no corrections until the book was finished. If I had looked back at what I had written the day before I might have despaired.
I first came across the script for 'Macbeth' between the ages of 11 and 12; it was the first book that shook my life. Because I did not yet understand that I could simply purchase it in a bookstore, I copied much of it by hand and took it home. My childhood imagination pushed me to feel like a co-author of the play.
The vampire underworld is much larger than most people could imagine. It exists in all the cities mentioned in the book, but also in many, many more. Teenagers, especially, seem to like to act out vampire fantasies.
I was never confident about finishing a book, but friends encouraged me. When I finished my first book, it was accepted by a publisher right away and became an instant bestseller. One male critic called it the most shocking book he ever read.
It is not a very difficult task to make what is commonly called an amusing book of travels. Any one who will tell, with a reasonable degree of graphic effect, what he has seen, will not fail to carry the reader with him; for the interest we all feel in personal adventure is, of itself, success.
I confess that I am a messy, disorganized and impatient reader: if the book doesn't grab me in the first 40 pages, I abandon it. I have piles of half-read books waiting for me to get acute hepatitis or some other serious condition that would force me to rest so that I could read more.
Commercial books don't even get covered. The reason why so many book reviews go out of business is because they cover a lot of stuff that nobody cares about. Imagine if the movie pages covered none of the big movies and all they covered were movies that you couldn't even find in the theater?
I get thousands of letters, and they give me a feeling of how each book is perceived. Often I think I have written about a certain theme, but by reading the letters or reviews, I realise that everybody sees the book differently.
The trouble with calling a book a novel, well, it's not like I'm writing the same book all the time, but there is a continuity of my interests, so when I start writing a book, if I call it 'a novel,' it separates it from other books.
I actually didn't listen to the Beatles song 'Nowhere Man' when I was writing my book of the same name. What I listened to a lot was 'Abbey Road.' Its disjointedness and its readiness to confuse only to delight were inspiring to me.
Two years passed, and I had no second book to follow 'Roots.' Four years passed, six years. When a decade had passed without me having another book to follow 'Roots,' I was having serious private frustrations with myself.
What has influenced my life more than any other single thing has been my stammer. Had I not stammered I would probably... have gone to Cambridge as my brothers did, perhaps have become a don and every now and then published a dreary book about French literature.
We live in capitalism, and capitalism is defined by the production line, and the production line is defined by specificity. If you see yourself as an artist, which I do, then you can't be limited by that. You can't let somebody tell you, 'Well, you can only draw this kind of picture or write that kind of book.'