GEORGE SAUNDERS
HILARY MANTEL

HILARY MANTEL

I do develop my books in scenes, and write a lot of dialogue – though book dialogue is different from stage dialogue, which is different from TV dialogue – and that is different from radio dialogue – I’ve explored all these facets. I think I am covertly a playwright and always have been – it’s just that the plays last for weeks, instead of a couple of hours. 

NEIL GAIMAN

NEIL GAIMAN

The idea that anything could be a door, the idea that the back of the wardrobe could open up unto a world in which it was winter and there were other worlds inches away from us, became just part of the way that I saw the world, that was how I assumed the way the world worked, when I was a kid that was the way that I saw.

JUNOT DÍAZ

JUNOT DÍAZ

I think part of what I was thinking about with this project was to build the fact that [my character] Yunior is a writer and that with Yunior being a writer we get to check in with his maturing and changing perspective. [...] Therefore built into the story there’s a perspective that might not otherwise be available if I was writing far more closely to the events he was narrating. These are the weird nerdy decisions one makes as one writes where one has to decide the events that are occurring in your text. You have to decide what’s the distance between the event and the point of telling where the narrator stands, looking upon and reflecting and retelling those events.

JAY McINERNEY

JAY McINERNEY

In the course of writing a novel I will sometimes lock myself away. During most of my previous novels there comes a point where I just go to the country and hide for 5 or 6 weeks. Sometimes it’s the first draft, sometimes it’s the second. There are periods when I feel like you just have to cut out the world and listen to the voice in your own head. In the course of writing a novel I will sometimes lock myself away. During most of my previous novels there comes a point where I just go to the country and hide for 5 or 6 weeks. Sometimes it’s the first draft, sometimes it’s the second. There are periods when I feel like you just have to cut out the world and listen to the voice in your own head.

MICHEL FABER
T.C. BOYLE

T.C. BOYLE

All artists are seeking to create a modified world that conforms to their emotional and artistic expectations, and I am one of them, though, of course, as we grow and age those expectations are continually in flux. [...] Yes, like all of us, I have experienced disillusionment with the limits of human life and understanding.

TOBIAS WOLFF

TOBIAS WOLFF

I don’t start off to create a moral in telling a story, but there are certainly consequences to the decisions that we make and some of those will inevitably have what we call a moral dimension. I don’t respond  enthusiastically to fiction when I can see a thumb on the scales, when I can see that it’s a sermon in disguise. I’m more interested in writing that explores rather than proclaims.

JOYCE CAROL OATES

JOYCE CAROL OATES

Characters begin as voices, then gain presence by being viewed in others' eyes.  Characters define one another in dramatic contexts.  It is often very exciting, when characters meet-- out of their encounters, unanticipated stories can spring.

GEOFF DYER

GEOFF DYER

In a way, I sometimes think that it’s when the divergences from what really happened are quite small that it calls for the services of a very scrupulous and clever biographer. Certainly the stuff you get about me from my books it’s not–how can I put it?–it’s not reliable as evidence in any court of law. I’m very conscious that I’m not under oath when I’m writing.

ETGAR KERET אתגר קרת‎‎

ETGAR KERET אתגר קרת‎‎

When I compare novelists to short story writers or very short story writers, I can’t compare them, but one thing for sure, the purpose is different. I think that someone who writes tries to create or document a world. And when you write very short fiction you try to document a motion, some kind of movement. 

MARIE DARRIEUSSECQ

MARIE DARRIEUSSECQ

Je suis devenue écrivain parce que dans ma famille ce n’étaient pas seulement les rêves, les étoiles et les animaux sauvages, qu’on passait sous silence, mais tout. Il y a deux choses surtout qu’on cache aux enfants : la mort et le sexe. Les zones du grand secret. Chez moi, la présence d’un enfant mort réunissait ces deux zones d’une façon dramatique. Ce chagrin silencieux de mes parents, et la folie de plusieurs personnes dans ma famille, ont déterminé l’écrivain que je suis.

SAM LIPSYTE

SAM LIPSYTE

I sort of think we’re all kind of a swirl of everything we’ve read, the art we’ve looked at or heard, the life we’ve led, the people we know, the stories we’ve heard, the stories we’ve lived through and the stories we’ve heard secondhand, the fears we’ve had, the desires we’ve had, it’s kind of just swirling around, so when you’re writing it’s not that you’re channeling it in a completely unthinking way, but when I write I’m just sort of moving fence to fence and seeing what bubbles up.

YIYUN LI 李翊雲

YIYUN LI 李翊雲

The artificial beginning is interesting to me. There is a clear-cut: old life, that's old country, and here's there's new life, new country. It is an advantage. You are looking at life through an old pair of eyes and a new pair of eyes. And there's always that ambivalence––Where do you belong? And how do you belong? And I do think these are advantages of immigrant writers or writers with two languages or who have two worlds.

LAN SAMANTHA CHANG
DOUGLAS KENNEDY

DOUGLAS KENNEDY

I’ve never really written a roman à clef, you know, something directly from my experience. [...] And yet again, you are always writing about yourself. Even if you’re not writing about something you’ve actually lived, you’re dealing with your own internal weather system, as I’ve said, and we all have one. And you’re also dealing with the things that keep you up at night, the things that worry you, the things you haven’t been able to get right. Your fears. And everyone has fears and they all come into play.