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I cannot and do not live in the world of discretion, not as a writer, anyway. I would prefer to, I assure you - it would make life easier. But discretion is, unfortunately, not for novelists.
That balance between involvement and detachment is what novelists do. It's the ideal relationship between a novelist and a character, I think, total involvement and identity and empathy, stopping short of being autobiographical - in my case, anyway - but also quite detached.
I don't have doctrinaire views about how we should relate to Asia. But novelists reflect the world they live in, and that world propels you, to some extent. I'm a creature of the British Empire, and of the period of transition from the Empire.
I take a real interest in the possibilities of teaching - including the practice of bringing creative writing, and serious reading, into the classroom. I am persuaded that since language is alive, much of the challenge has already been met by the poets and novelists we read.
My grandmother's first husband was a spiritualist medium. What fascinates me about that is the balance between conviction and sincerity and trickery, which is also something that novelists are very familiar with.
In Hollywood, they think they know it all. You, as a writer, are essentially an outsider. Novelists and short-story writers, especially.
I went to an international school in Holland, and I didn't have any memories of growing up in the United States or England or any of these places which other novelists are able to write about in relation to their childhoods.
Once upon a time, novelists of the 19th century, such as Charles Dickens, published in serial form.
Most novelists write about twisted lives.
I know I'm a rare person, a trained scientist who writes fiction, because so few contemporary novelists engage with science.
I'm inspired by playwrights, novelists, poets: The value of language has been a lifelong passion of mine. I enjoy it. I'm good at it.
Novelists should be like scientists, dissecting the cadaver.
J. G. Ballard
A few of the world's most famous non-American novelists have large followings in the United States, among them Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Guenter Grass, who were both popular even before winning the Nobel.
Novelists are not equipped to make a movie, in my opinion. They make their own movie when they write: they're casting, they're dressing the scene, they're working out where the energy of the scene is coming from and they're also relying tremendously on the creative imagination of the reader.
John le Carre
I saw novelists as being admirable people and I thought... I thought... maybe, one day, I could be one of them.
In the 1930s, all the novelists had seemed to be people who came blazing up into stardom from out of total obscurity. That seemed to be the nature of the beast. The biographical notes on the dustjackets of the novels were terrific.
The British and American literary worlds operate in an odd kind of symbiosis: our critics think our contemporary novelists are not the stuff of greatness whereas certain contemporary Americans indubitably are. Their critics often advance the exact opposite: British fiction is cool, American naff.
Let the novelists fret about consistency - story writers should feel free to jam; to get things right in new, surprising ways by allowing themselves, now and then, to get things wrong.
There are many reasons why novelists write, but they all have one thing in common - a need to create an alternative world.
Historians tell the story of the past, novelists the story of the present.
Edmond de Goncourt
Stories in which the destruction of society occurs are explorations of social fears and issues that filmmakers, novelists, playwrights, painters have been examining for a long time.
J. J. Abrams
You could say that all novels are spy novels and all novelists are spy masters.
If the rewards to authors go down, simple economics says there will be fewer authors. It's not that people won't burn with the passion to write. The number of people wanting to be novelists is probably not going to decline - but certainly the number of people who are going to be able to make a living as authors is going to dramatically decrease.
Novelists, it seems to me, are the very last people who should be asked to comment on the news of the day, and sooner or later, when they have been pilloried for their views, most of them recognise this.
Alternate history fascinates me, as it fascinates all novelists, because 'What if?' is the big thing.
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