Years ago, I took a self-defense class. It was a full-contact, full-force, intense workshop, very personal and emotional. At the end, everyone was asked to bring a token for their classmates, to express their experience. Some brought food, some jewelry. Me? I wrote a story.
If I’m not actually working on a novel, I watch people and create scenarios. Ideas wake me in the middle of the night and interrupt when I’m doing other things. It’s a persistent process that never quits. Sometimes it’s painful. I have to reveal secrets and bare my deepest desires. It isn’t easy, but what worthwhile ever is?
And I love books—reading them, seeing them in bookstores, checking out blurbs. I am constantly fascinated and amazed at the ideas that flow from other writers. I could spend days, weeks, in bookstores, libraries, Amazon. The most frightening and uplifting book ever written is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s about a society where all books are destroyed. So, people become books by memorizing them and passing them on to their children.
I can’t complain. I’ve had a certain measure of success as a writer. I’ve been lucky. And one of the things I feel very fortunate about is my ability to say what I mean. And people have responded to that.