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I don't for one second think about the possibility of censorship when I am writing a new book. I know I am a person who cares about kids and who cares about truth and I am guided by my own instincts, and trust them.
A book might be written on the injustice of the just.
Sometimes even when the book is over I don't know who's good and who's bad. It's really more interesting, I think, to write about gray characters than it is to write about black and white.
What I want to do is tell stories about normal people in the American suburbs. I don't write the book where it's a conspiracy reaching the prime minister; I don't write the book with the big serial killer who lops off heads. My setting is a very placid pool of suburbia, family life. And within that I can make pretty big splashes.
Writing my first book, I think in hindsight I went into it saying, 'It's gonna sell.' I was earning enough to scrape by sometime around a book or two before 'Tell No One.' I moved up from $50,000 to $75,000, then $150,000 for each book. I had never thought I would be doing anything else. I had enough encouragement.
There is always shame in the creation of an expressive work, whether it's a book or a clay pot. Every artist worries about how they will be seen by others through their work. When you create, you aspire to do justice to yourself, to remake yourself, and there is always the fear that you will expose the very thing that you hoped to transform.
I remember, when I went away to college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, my aunt sent me a book with the rules of being a Southern Belle. One of the rules was to never wear white after Labor Day. Fashion has a lot to do with confidence and making up your own rules.
They're still working on the script - they've got to get that nailed down and they want the first movie to come out obviously, not get too ahead of themselves. But yeah, it's looking good. I love the second book a lot as well, so kind of diving into that is awesome.
First-person narrators is the way I know how to write a book with the greatest power and chance of artistic success.
When it comes to housework the one thing no book of household management can ever tell you is how to begin. Or maybe I mean why.
My idea of a good time is creating something and reading a good book.
I don't tweet, Twitter, email, Facebook, look book, no kind of book. I have a land line phone at my home - that's the only phone I have. If my phone rang every day like everyone else around me, I would lose my mind.
Publishing is a very mysterious business. It is hard to predict what kind of sale or reception a book will have, and advertising seems to do very little good.
The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that creativity will hit you all at once and the muse will carry you to the end of the book on feather wings while 'Foster the People' plays gently in the background. Storytelling is work. Pleasurable work, usually, but it is work.
In this one book are the two most interesting personalities in the whole world - God and yourself. The Bible is the story of God and man, a love story in which you and I must write our own ending, our unfinished autobiography of the creature and the Creator.
A book, like a landscape, is a state of consciousness varying with readers.
For myself, the only way I know how to make a book is to construct it like a collage: a bit of dialogue here, a scrap of narrative, an isolated description of a common object, an elaborate running metaphor which threads between the sequences and holds different narrative lines together.
Sometimes you buy a book, powerfully drawn to it, but then it just sits on the shelf. Maybe you flick through it, the ghost of your original purpose at your elbow, but it's not so much rereading as re-dusting. Then one day you pick it up, take notice of the contents; your inner life realigns.
Write a book you'd like to read. If you wouldn't read it, why would anybody else? Don't write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book's ready.
To discuss a Martin Amis book, you must first discuss the orchestrated release of a Martin Amis book. In London, which rightly prides itself on the vibrancy of its literary cottage industry, Amis is the Steve Jobs of book promoters, and his product rollouts are as carefully managed as anything Apple dreams up.
I would never require anyone to read any book. That seems antithetical to why we read - which is to choose a book for our personal reasons. I always shudder when I'm told my books are on required reading lists.
I began thinking there should be an American phrase book, 'cause I've got an Italian phrase book, and an Arabic one... now a British one. I think it'd be pretty good to have an American phrase book.
A book is simply the container of an idea like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.
Everybody's idea of a great book is different, of course. For me it's one that makes my jaw drop on every page, the writing is so original.
I always do book signings with the same blue pen. That way, if I add a personalised message to a book I've already signed, it'll be in the same colour as my signature.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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