I wrote a lot about Cheney in 'The New Yorker,' but I wrote very little of what I know. The only time I ever mentioned what he ever said at a meeting was when there were many people there who were not insiders, you know, other people not in the government, so my sources would be protected.
William Maxwell's my favorite North American writer, I think. And an Irish writer who used to write for 'The New Yorker' called Maeve Brennan, and Mary Lavin, another Irish writer. There were a lot of writers that I found in 'The New Yorker' in the Fifties who wrote about the same type of material I did - about emotions and places.
'Royal Beatings' was my first story, and it was published in 1977. But I sent all my early stories to 'The New Yorker' in the 1950s, and then I stopped sending for a long time and sent only to magazines in Canada. 'The New Yorker' sent me nice notes, though - penciled, informal messages. They never signed them. They weren't terribly encouraging.
I've had a relatively charmed life. I loved to be out in the city. New York was my town. I've had people come up to me and say, 'You're a great New Yorker. You've given your time and money to so many New York charities. You're a great supporter of the arts. I like some of your movies - and some of your movies suck, actually.'