Losing myself in the story and the characters. The people I write about always become so real to me. When I am finished writing a novel, I always feel a sense of sadness that the process is over.
Your least favorite aspects of writing?
Becoming so immersed in a novel that everything else in my life seems to suffer. My world becomes that book, and when it is finished it is as if I have to re-orient myself to the world around me.
Who are some of your favorite authors/books?
I love Ian Fleming and all the James Bond novels. The series is a real character study. My favorite author has always been Ernest Hemingway. His use of such few words to evoke so many emotions has always fascinated me. The Sun Also Rises, in my opinion, is one of his best works.
What are you reading right now?
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. I am an ancient history nut.
If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors — dead or alive — who would they be and what would you serve them?
I would start with Aristotle. I would love to pick his brain about educating Alexander The Great. I would also invite Ian Fleming so I could learn about how he developed the character of James Bond. Next, would be Tennessee Williams. He was an old family friend and taught me a lot about how to write characters. He was a master at developing characters with underlying emotional issues. I could see inviting Ernest Hemingway because I think his life experiences and his insights about writing would be fascinating to hear. Lastly, Edgar Allen Poe. I think Poe’s use of imagery and his dark, tormented characters made his style of writing unique. Needless to say, with this group I don’t think an elaborate dinner would be an option. A well-stocked, open bar and an assortment of finger sandwiches would probably be all that is needed for an entertaining evening.
What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?
The Sun Also Rises because it is a masterpiece in storytelling and has unforgettable characters.
What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?
Keep writing. It sounds daunting at times, but it is the best advice I have ever been given. The more you write, the better you get at it.