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" The idea of sacrifice is integral to the John Henry myth. Heroic figures have to die in order for us to have our stories; we live and stand on their bones. "
" In college, I wrote maybe three short stories. "
" If the world's nations can set aside their petty bickering over religion, politics, and territory, certainly I can 'get that Olympic Spirit' and rise above my prejudices. "
" There's not a lot of good TV. "
" I grew up reading the 'Village Voice' and wanting to be one of these multidisciplinary music writers, film writers, book writers. And I lucked out getting a job at the 'Voice' right after college. "
" I think a joke is a form of truth-telling. A good joke that's absurd contains elements of our daily darkness and also a possibility to escape that darkness. So, for me, humor is an attempt to capture everyday tragedy and everyday hopeful moments that we experience all of the time. "
" I was inspired to become a writer by horror movies and science fiction. "
" In the apocalypse, I think those average, mediocre folks are the ones who are going to live. "
" I enjoy thinking about how race plays out over the centuries, how technology evolves, how cities transform themselves. These subjects are present in some of my books and absent in others. "
" Access to information, to music or any kind of culture, is getting faster and faster and more streamlined. At each juncture, people are thrown into tumult and have to adapt or die. "
" I like to explore different ideas of race, how the concept of race has evolved in the country. It's one thing I enjoy talking about, but I don't feel compelled to talk about it. "
" You can't rush inspiration. "
" I usually have two or three ideas floating around. When I have free time, the one I end up thinking most about is the one I end up pursuing. "
" I'm someone who just likes being in my cave and thinking up weird stuff. "
" You can raze the old buildings and erect magnificent corporate towers, hose down Port Authority, but you can't change people. "
" Some books are well-received with critics; other books sell. "
" I didn't know I was a zombie pedant until I started considering what from the zombie canon to keep in 'Zone One' and what to ignore. "
" I do write about race a lot, but I don't think writers - of any shade or background or whatever - have to write about certain subjects. "
" I was sort of a miserable teenager. "
" When I'm working on a book, I try to do eight pages a week. That seems like a good amount. Less than that, I'm not getting a nice momentum, and more than that, I'm probably putting out too much crap. "
" In 'John Henry Days,' I was taking my idea of junketeering and sort of blowing it up to absurd extremes. "
" The readership for 'Sag Harbor' was different from people who'd read me before - it was linear and realistic, not as strange as 'The Intuitionist.' Did they carry over to 'Zone One,' a story about zombies in New York? Some, some not. I'm used to people not caring about my other books. "
" I was 7 years old when 'Roots' was first broadcast, and my parents gathered all us kids around the TV to learn about how we got here. But it wasn't until I sat down and immersed myself in the research that I got the barest inkling of what it meant to be a slave. "
" Generally, I walk around in a glum mood. "
" I like questions that tee me up to make weird jokes, frankly. "
" What isn't said is as important as what is said. "
" Slavery was a violent, brutal, immoral system, and in accurately depicting how it worked, you have to include that, obviously. Or else you are lying. "
" I admire Vegas's purity, its entirely wholesome artificiality. "
" I'm just trying to keep things rich for me creatively and for the readers who follow me. "
" A lot of early Misfits song titles are inspired by old B-movies, which were my Popeye's spinach when I was a kid. "
" I write at home. I like to be able to take a nap, watch TV, make a sandwich, and if I wake up and don't feel like working, I'm not going to bang my head on my desk all day: I'll go out and do something else. "