02—How I Write, The Secret Lives of Authors edited by Dan Crowe

I came to this book through Audrey Niffenegger. Her book, "The Time Travelers Wife" blew me away. I don't usually read a book twice but I read it twice and plan to read it again!

Anyway, I searched for other books by her (she's written a couple of graphic novels, too) and happened on this. The editor surveyed around 70 authors asking them for their writing secrets. Most sent photos of their workspaces and the trinkets, gewgaws, and curiosities that inspire them. 

I feel terribly illiterate after reading this book; I recognized  only three of the authors (Joyce Carol Oates, Ian Rankin, and, of course, Audrey Niffenegger.

What surprised me is the similarity among many of the authors. Three authors, for instance, espouse patience.

1) Tempus omnia revelat (time reveals all); Bruce Robinson

2) Art is made of patience….eventually the words will come out right; Audrey Niffenegger

3)…to be patient and to trust my instincts; Jill Dawson

But the idea that resonated most with me was this statement by Javier Marías:

"Children have an enormous capacity to become obsessed with, and what's more, actually step inside and immerse themselves in very small things, breathing a fictional life into them…This is how countless children took their first steps into fiction.

The book is filled with interesting glimpses into the writing lives of those who make their living with words.

© Surveyor of the Passing Scene