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" Although I'm not an orphan and I can't lift a horse. I was, however, briefly famous for my feats of strength: at about age 11, I could competitively arm-wrestle a full-grown man. "
" I worked for a private investigative agency briefly. I rarely had the opportunity to snoop. "
" My writing process is chaos. I usually start with an overarching theme. Then I establish several story threads, but I don't outline. I just start writing and keep notes for what may come. It's an organic process that's usually pretty flexible. "
" I've got no business giving advice to anyone. Even a fictional character. "
" Band I listen to most: The Ramones. "
" Finally, I'm recognizing that rewrites aren't some cosmic punishment for childhood wrongs but the nature of the business. "
" I'm always accused of being a crime novelist, but I'm not really. "
" Sometimes a single item can wrap up, in a nutshell, who a person is. In my grandparents' home, a clear plastic container was enthroned on top of the mahogany bar for at least a decade. Painted on the lid in pink, yellow and light blue was 'Have a Nosh With Mort & Ethel'. "
" People transform in some ways, and they remain exactly the same in others. Often, the thing you'd like to change the most about yourself is where you will forever remain stuck. "
" I wouldn't say that my family is normal. "
" I liked the idea of exposing the beams in collaborative novel. And there are many - especially in the crime world - there are many people working together: James Patterson and his stable of sub authors; and then there are like Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman and Jason Starr. "
" If I were one of the three viable presidential candidates, I doubt I'd be too broken up about someone looking into my passport file. Go ahead look, I'd say. It's the passport photo I wouldn't want anyone getting his hands on. "
" I tend to start books with a very broad outline, but I always leave room for happy accidents. With 'The Passenger,' there were perhaps too many of those. "
" I could never really choose a favorite book, but whenever I'm asked what my favorite movie is, I always say 'Withnail & I,' a British film from 1987. It's funny and sad and absolutely gorgeous to look at. It's the film I can watch over and over again. "
" I wrote the first draft of 'Plan B' the summer after I turned 21. "
" There's no reason why a writer shouldn't explore and use different genres. "
" Hair color is the easiest way to change your appearance, but a bad dye job might draw more attention to you. "
" I didn't feel a strong bond with the parents who raised me, and I had anything but a happy childhood. My mother was overly sensitive; my father, ascetic. I was neither. I felt as if I were living with complete strangers. I suspect that my parents felt the same way. "
" To properly investigate a subject, we must investigate a subject's stuff. "
" I was young, maybe 4, when I learned where babies came from. "
" When I was 6, I learned where I came from, which was one step removed from the usual circumstances. I was adopted. "
" I have certain rules for snooping, under which anything out in the open is fair game. "
" I wrote my first screenplay on a lark, because it was a storytelling format that felt like a familiar shorthand - we all watch movies, don't we? But even though I grew up in Los Angeles, my family was entirely unconnected with the movie industry, and I never truly believed that it would one day be my fate. "
" I usually have a sense of where my characters are personally and ways in which they might transform throughout the novel. But I never know at the outset how the book will end, nor do I ever stick to my original plan. "
" Years ago, when my attempts at a writing career came to a complete stand-still, I applied to the Los Angeles Police Department. This might seem odd for a liberal woman who once went to UC Santa Cruz, but I've always had a powerful fascination with crime and serious interest in finding different ways to contend with it. "
" While I had no intention of ending the series after 'The Spellmans Strike Again,' I did close many doors in that book and, with the fifth one, I was opening a lot of doors and not finding anything behind them and then opening another door and another until I found something. It was a while before I found my stride. "
" 'The Chosen,' if you recall, was based on the Chaim Potok novel and featured Robbie Benson's persuasive performance as a Hasidic Jew. "
" My mother, at sixty, is one of those classic beauties: all neck and cheekbones, sharp lines that hide her wrinkles from a distance. She still gets whistles from construction workers from three stories up. "
" I've always adored the filmmaker Sam Fuller. The first time I watched 'Shock Corridor' was such a magnificent discovery. I love his lack of subtlety, the way he tackles serious topics with bold and inappropriate humor. "
" 'Await Your Reply' by Dan Chaon. I've always been obsessed with the idea of disappearing and becoming someone else. Even if you don't share that obsession, I can't recommend this book highly enough. "
" I love 'The Wire'. I can't think of a television show that I think is superior to it in any way. I was obsessed with it from the moment it came on the air. I do also love 'Doctor Who' and 'Get Smart'. "