On writing a letter to readers

Writing is nearly always hard. Capturing inchoate ideas and feelings and experiences, forcing these into precise words arranged intentionally, demands fierce psychic energy: more with every passing year. It is tempting to say that the drain comes from all that is not expressed, all the ways that the words are less than what I feel or think, and yet I’m not sure this is true. What keeps me writing, what draws me back to it, is the way that the words suddenly become more than what I knew, the way a sentence will take off and reveal so much that I had not realized was so.

Almost anything is easier to do than write.

Recently, my publisher asked if I would compose a letter to […]

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What will I write?

I have spent extended portions of my waking life in a dreamy state. When I am working on a new novel, the characters and their situations live in me. They grab at my attention and pull me away from what I am doing. They nip at my concentration, they beg for my awareness, they leave me in a frequent state of ill focus.

I was a dreamy kid too. As a seven-year-old, I whiled away the hours wondering if aliens had kidnapped my family and shape-shifted into their forms. They looked and sounded like my parents, my three brothers, my two sisters, but who really knew? Comfortably narcissistic, my operational theory was that it was all a grand plan to study me more closely. Other […]

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