The way we learn to write is the way we learn to talk: We listen to others and start mimicking speech, and that's how we come to become speakers. Writers you admire, you admire the way they plot, you admire the way they create a character, you admire the way they put a sentence together, those are the writers you should be reading.
I've always wanted to write science fiction. It was one of my first loves, and I knew if I became a writer someday I'd probably write something in the science fiction vein, but I hesitated for a long while because it's such well-trod ground.
When civilizations collide, it usually isn't the more primitive one that prevails.
Being born at the tag-end of the baby boom, I was destined (or doomed, depending on how you look at it) to fall in love with sci-fi. It was one of my first literary loves, as a matter of fact.
'Tax Collector' was optioned for a series with F/X, but it never happened. I guess they ran into a problem trying to figure out why someone would tune in to watch a show about a guy who works for the IRS.
One of the joys of a really good book is that you're so into the world of the book, you forget what you're looking at is words on a page.
Ever since I was young, 14 or 15, I wondered if you could write a book that combined the visceral thrill of watching a movie with the total immersion you feel when you're inside a good book. And I had some success as a screenwriter before I began writing books.
I got a very late start at fatherhood. I'm a late bloomer in general. It took me seven years to get through four years of college. I was five years away from 40 before I had a family, and I had never been around kids much at all. All of a sudden, I was around three boys all the time.
The aliens of 'The 5th Wave' are not the aliens we've imagined. Not the aliens we'd like to attack us.
I've loved sci-fi and speculative fiction since I was a kid. It was inevitable I'd try my hand at it at some point.
'The 5th Wave' is sci-fi, but I tried very hard to ground the story in very human terms and in those universal themes that transcend genre. How do we define ourselves? What, exactly, does it mean to be human? What remains after everything we trust, everything we believe in and rely upon, has been stripped away?
I always feel trepidation at the beginning of every project. I worry about so many things. Time to get it right, the skill to do it justice, the will to finish. I also worry about more mundane things, like what if my computer crashes and I've forgotten to back up the manuscript?
One lesson I learned from 'The Monstrumologist' was never to get too attached to your own characters. That's harder in practice than in theory. At the end of the third book - which coincided with the end of my contract - I was an emotional wreck. I mourned Will Henry and Warthrop.
It's been a while since I've written a novel aimed at the adult market, but I never sit down and say to myself, 'Okay, now I'm going to write something for us old folks.' I get gripped by an idea, and I go where the idea takes me.
My foray into young adult lit was by no means planned. I wrote the first 'Alfred Kropp' book as an adult novel, which everyone loved but no one would publish - until I changed my protagonist from a thirty-something P.I. into a 15-year-old kid. After that, it was off to the races, and I am so glad.
I really kill myself on titles, although 'The 5th Wave' seems like an obvious title, doesn't it? You don't know how long that took me.
Even the most sensitive person can get used to even the most insensitive thing. Cruelty isn't a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.
The kid who didn't go back when he should have and now goes back when he shouldn't. The kid called Zombie, who made a promise, and if he breaks that promise, the war is over - not the big war, but the war that matters, the one in the battlefield of his heart. Because promises matter. They matter now more than ever.
I brought Sammy inside and put him to bed. Said his prayer with him. ""Now I lay me down to sleep"'" To me, just random noise. Gibberish. I wasn't sure exactly what it was, but I felt that, when it came to God, there was a broken promise in there somewhere.
We'd stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You'd think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn't.
There's an old saying about truth setting you free. Don't buy it. Sometimes the truth slams the cell door shut and throws a thousand bolts.
Sarcasm doesn't appear to work on him. If that's true, I'm in trouble: It's my normal mode of communication.
And in more than half the pictures, she isn't looking at the camera; she's looking at him. Not the way I would look at Ben Parish, all squishy around the eyes. She looks at Evan fiercely, like, This here? It's mine
It wasn't aliens that first made us gear up for war; it was our fellow humans.
We are slaves, all of us...Some are slaves to fear. Others are slaves to reason-or base desire. It is our lot to be slaves...and the question must be to what shall we owe our indenture? Will it be to truth or to falsehood, hope or despair, light or darkness? I choose to serve the light, even though that bondage often lies in darkness.
You are the nest. You are the hatchling. You are the chrysalis. You are the progeny. You are the rot that falls from stars. You may not understand what I mean. You will.
If I had faced it then, I wouldn't be facing it now, but sooner or later you have to choose between running and facing the thing you thought you could not face.
How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
There's a hero in every heart waiting for the dragon to come out.
It's hard to plan for what comes next when what comes next is not something you planned for.
It's almost dawn. You can feel it coming. The world holds its breath, because there's really no guarantee that the sun will rise. That there was a yesterday doesn't mean there will be a tomorrow.
You can only call someone crazy if there's someone else who's normal. Like good and evil. If everything was good, then nothing would be good.
So often the monsters that crowd our minds are nothing more than the strange and thoroughly alien progeny of our own fearful fantasies.
Sometimes in my tent, late at night, I think I can hear the stars scraping against the sky.
You know how sometimes you tell yourself that you have a choice, but really you don't have a choice? Just because there are alternatives doesn't mean they apply to you.
But hope is no less realistic than despair. It is still our choice whether to live in light or lie down in darkness.
Great sci-fi has never shied from tackling the Big Questions, though really great sci-fi never forgets to entertain us along the way. Shock and awe applies to art, as well.
When you look death in the eye and death blinks first, nothing seems impossible.
Maybe you reach a certain point in evolution where boredom is the greatest threat to your survival. Maybe this isn't a planetary takeover at all, but a game. Like a kid pulling wings off flies.
You never know when the truth will come home. You can't choose the time. The time chooses you.