There are so many stories, she thinks, and most of them end up lost.
She was owner and captive, both, of a bitterly divided heart.
I've spent my whole literary career blurring boundaries between genres and categories.
I want readers turning pages until three o'clock in the morning. I want the themes of books to stick around for a reader. I'm always trying to find a way to balance characters and theme.
I ruefully admit that if the cat is asleep in my chair - which she regards as hers, of course - I tend to leave her there and take the other one.
I don't know a writer who doesn't feel some sense of glamour and magic and a complex, wistful sadness emanating from the expats of the twenties in France. Some of the sadness, of course, is that we weren't there.
When I am reading for research and making notes, I use a cleverly designed curved lap-desk, and I sit up dutifully, mindful of ergonomics and suchlike concepts. When reading for pleasure, I take advantage of the 'recline' in recliner.
The very best way I can make any reader believe in the nuts and bolts of an art form... is to know the mechanics, to make the characters grounded in convincing detail.
In general, the main themes emerge early for each book, even before the storyline and characters, as I research the time and place I want to draw upon. Having said that, every single book so far has offered me surprises en route, and these include motifs that come forward as I am writing.
Everything you have ever heard about the strangeness of Hollywood is true!
I never answer, because I can't, which is my favorite among my own books.
I'm happier not pretending I know anything about El Cid in Spain. He's a Spanish national hero. I'd rather invent a character inspired by him but clearly not identical to him. And then I feel liberated creatively.
I had been obsessed with the Arthurian legends all my life, and I knew that that would work its way into any trilogy I wrote. I was fascinated by the Eddas, the Norse and Icelandic legends, Odin on the world tree.
Significant consequences can begin very inconsequentially. That's one thing that fascinates me. The other thing that fascinates me is how accident can undermine something that's unfolding, something that might have played out differently otherwise.
The poems were the only thing I wrote that was not for everyone else. Then my editors at Penguin, who were also friends and had seen several of them, aggressively urged me to do a book. Editors can be aggressive, especially after drinks. That's how 'Beyond This Dark House' appeared.
I'm still proud of the 'Fionavar Tapestry.' The fact I don't write the same way is as much as anything else the fact a man in his 50s doesn't write the way a man in his 20s does - or he shouldn't.
I say 'as it were' or 'so to speak' too often because puns and double entendres keep insinuating themselves into my consciousness as I'm talking.
Do we value privacy in any real way? Thinking about blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace... all these suggest we value exposure rather more. And instead of challenging this transformation, as they are supposed to - certainly at the more thoughtful edges of the art - novelists are buying into it wholesale.
My privacy concerns have to do with the world, other people, technology intruding upon us - what Talmudic scholars once called 'the unwanted gaze.' Here I see major issues and concerns as society evolves, and I've written often on the subject.
Even if we remember the past, odds are good we'll still repeat it.
When we work with history, to a very great degree we are all guessing. But by using motifs of time and history in a fantasy setting, we are acknowledging that this educated guesswork, invention, fantasy underlie our treatment of the past and its peoples - and we are not claiming a right to do with them as we will.
It's worth being suspicious of writers - or anyone! - who does that myth-making thing. There's always a tendency to retrospectively impose structures on a life. Life as it's lived has a far more complex shape.
I don't plan ahead; each book finds me. History itself, the resonance of the past with the present, is the common denominator in all of them.
I grew up in a bookish family, so I read very widely. I was omnivorous, really.
There's a level at which, if you take poetry seriously, the focus it involves... that never goes away.
I never talk about books in progress. I could decide to change it to a series of seafood recipes, after all.
I spent many years writing and directing in radio drama, so I am comfortable with an audience or a microphone, but I do worry about the blurring of an author's public persona with the work itself. A good 'performer' can make a mediocre book sound strong, and a shy author can leave listeners missing the excellence of his or her writing.
Fantasy is more than an escape from the truths of the world and the past: it is an open acknowledgment that those truths are complex and morally difficult. It offers a different route to creating something which will resonate with readers, in a way which resists the erasure of privacy and autonomy which pervades our modern world.
It can be hard to write a skillfully entertaining fiction, but a great book wants to be more, and wants more from us.
Irritation for some men was their response to strain.
What man would dare believe that all he planned might come to pass?
The military preferred - invariably - those who could be readily defined, assigned roles, understood, and controlled.
Men made wagers with their judgment, their allegiances, their resources.
You'd never killed anyone. Then you had.
Lazy poets try to elicit a reader's response with words designed to tug at the heart.
Eanna love us, Adaon preserve us, Morian guard our souls.
Why did becoming accustomed to something have to render its pleasures stale.
But if you couldn't do everything, did that mean you did nothing?
Fantasy is, at its best, the purest access to storytelling that we have. It universalizes a tale, it evokes wonder and timeless narrative power, it touches upon inner journeys, it illuminates our collective and individual pasts, throws a focus beam on the present day, and presages the dangers and promises of the future.
Weariness, sometimes more than anything else, can bring an end to war.