I don't know that I had a path so much as a long wandering. Like most writers I have always written to make sense of the world around me.
—Barb Johnson, interviewed by Andrew Scott
So go outside. Alter. Remember that the familiar and comfortable is the suburbia of the spirit. Assume you know nothing—it's probably closer to the truth. Start talking to strangers. Remember to listen. The writer in you will take care of the rest.
I've also learned that, as Aristotle said, you should always have a container for your story. If your book happens on Thanksgiving Day, that's your container. Or World War II—the container can be broad or very narrow.
—Ann Hood, interviewed by Brian Gresko
Not one of my stories is autobiographical, plot-wise. But they're mostly set in the world I know, the places I've been, among the kinds of people I've encountered.
—David James Poissant, interviewed by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
Frankly, it's rare to have a moment that's completely agonizing or completely beautiful that isn't tinged with something else. So I guess I'm interested in that complexity of experience. But at the level of the moment, if that makes sense.
—Laura van den Berg, interviewed by Jeremiah Chamberlin
I think if you're a writer, you experience the world with a heightened awareness of what's around you—what you see, what you hear, what you feel, what others are feeling. It's hard to take it all in if you don't get to spit it back out somehow. The world can become too heavy.