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" I'm interested in themes that endure from generation to generation. "
" At one level you're condemned to the voice you have. But within those confines, you have a certain amount of freedom to range among your possible voices. "
" Don Quixote is one that comes to mind in comparison to mine, in that they both involve journeys undertaken by older men. That is unusual, because generally the hero of a journey story is very young. "
" Fiction is socially meaningful. "
" It doesn't matter who you are, how many awards you've won, how popular you are, or how much critical acclaim you've had. "
" I was totally absorbed in the real world, the politics, the history, the news, and I just couldn't find my way into the fictional world... When I finally could return to writing the novel, it was in fits and starts. "
" What sustains me is to be with my family and to write. "
" My book is traditional. It runs counter to the post-modern spirit. "
" I was born in Washington State and have lived here for 42 plus years. "
" Time made me change. I gradually woke up to the realization that this is who I am, an author, a public figure, and I couldn't just hide in my study, tapping away at the keyboard and pretend that I didn't have a role to play beyond stringing words together. "
" I think you have an obligation to share what you know as a writer. "
" I write because something inner and unconscious forces me to. That is the first compulsion. The second is one of ethical and moral duty. I feel responsible to tell stories that inspire readers to consider more deeply who they are. "
" Hemingway said the only way to write about a place is to leave it. "
" Even though I may not intend it when I set out to write the book, these places just emerge as major players in what I'm doing, almost as if they are insisting on it. "
" Post-modernism is dead because it didn't address human needs. "
" I became paralyzed as an artist with writer's block. "
" I'm not an urban person. "
" Everybody has a world, and that world is completely hidden until we begin to inquire. As soon as we do, that entire world opens to us and yields itself. And you see how full and complex it is. "
" It's a brooding melancholy that haunts me. "
" The real question is: How do you react? What do you do next? Evade responsibilities? Bury yourself in work? What do you do? All three of my novels take up that question, although none gives an answer. "
" Writing became an obsessive compulsive habit but I had almost no money so I thought about being an urban firefighter and having lots of free time in which to write or becoming an English teacher and thinking about books and writers on a daily basis. That swayed me. "
" Cities produce in me melancholy or a tension I don't need. "
" I think of myself as a really happy person. "
" I often heard about his cases and I often sat in on his trials. In the late 1960s when I was growing up I wanted to be a crusader like him but I didn't want to wear a suit and commute. "
" When it comes time to sit down and write the next book, you're deathly afraid that you're not up to the task. That was certainly the case with me after Snow Falling on Cedars. "
" I have relaxed into my persona as an author, although I used to fight that. "
" What some people interpret as brooding melancholy is serenity. I don't feel required to grasp all the time. "
" When I went to college I took a creative writing class and decided in a week to be a writer. "
" There's a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left. "
" I have traveled the entire state and spent a lot of time out of doors. So I have known the landscape of the Columbia Basin for quite a while, and I have had this strong feeling about it for many years. "
" I grew up in Seattle, but I always knew I wanted to leave. "