For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
They say my novel Blind Sight has 304 pages. This is entirely accurate. Of course I’m thrilled that it’s gotten some great advance press, but I wouldn’t say that the praise is accurate. I would say that it makes me very happy and this lessens the muscular tension in my jaw.
What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
Sam Harris’s new book, The Moral Landscape. If for nothing else than his elegant and enlightened definition of morality as that which contributes to the well-being of conscious creatures. (Full disclosure: after reading The Moral Landscape I had a dream where Sam Harris told me he loved me, and the intense gratification this brought me lasted approximately 72 hours.)
Whose ghostwritten celebrity tell-all (or novel) would you sprint to the store to buy (along with a copy of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius so that the checkout clerk doesn’t look at you screwy)?
I’d beat off hordes for a copy of the unexpurgated diaries of Tycho Brahe, 16th century astronomer and alchemist. Because you know that guy witnessed some crazy doings at the court of Rudolph II. Somewhat more realistically, I want one of the 80s/90s supermodels to tell me everything. Linda Evangelista: write a book, honey!
Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
I think hunger can lead to brilliance. Starvation mostly just leads to desperation. Calling yourself an “artist” hopefully leads to your Trusted Friend hitting you over the head with a saucepan.
What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
Looking across the aisle of an airplane and seeing someone reading Blind Sight. Witnessing someone read to the end of a page I wrote and then the thrill of—maybe—watching them turn the page and continue on.
Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
Not so much with the writing, but there has been some very regrettable punctuation.