Respect for Books

I’ll call him “Marvin,” the kid in my high school literature class who Mr. Stoekl caught defacing a book.

A Tangible Vision

There isn’t an aspiring writer within the sound of my voice who hasn’t envisioned his or her book at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

The Art of Language

I grew up among artists who encouraged me to draw and paint. My room always smelled of turpentine, and my pants were often streaked with charcoal dust.

They Threw Tomatoes at Jackie Gleason

Jackie Gleason originally tried to break into the entertainment business as a singer. During his debut appearance in a vaudeville act, his performance was so poor that members of the audience threw tomatoes at him.

Cut Me a Story

The first novel I queried was 180,000 words long. I got nothing but form rejections in response.


I worked in four different jewelry stores. In each store were pieces so expensive, they’d sat in their cases for years.