I've bumped into at least three people in town who all insist 'Winter's Bone' is about them.
I don't want to be callous about it, but we all seemed to get over the Oklahoma bombing pretty quickly, and we're never going to get over 9/11.
I tell the story by feel most of the time, and I am not much given to labyrinthian digressions but seem to be naturally drawn to compression and pace, and the feelings come about on their own.
I'm very attracted to poetry for all the reasons someone likes poetry. The notion of compression seems to fit my personality.
As a high-school drop-out, I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn't overly confident that I was going to be writing anything serious. I was happy enough with the idea that I could be a penny-a-word guy and survive.
I had gone to enlist in the Navy, but they had a long waiting list and no need for high-school dropouts.
I joined the Marines the week I turned 17, and that led to a few experiences that might qualify as adventure - eye of the beholder.
I think my grandmother Woodrell was most responsible for my becoming a writer. She wasn't quite literate, but was very proud that she attended school as far as the third grade. She worked as a maid, housekeeper and cook.
In February of 1972, a snowstorm blew into Kansas City, and I decided to hitchhike to California. The roads were icy, snowflakes howling, and nobody would drive me to the highway, so I humped through the snow and ice and caught a ride with a concerned cop to the Kansas Turnpike.
One of the interesting things about the Ozarks is you just about don't have street crime. It's strictly between people who know each other. It really isn't indiscriminate; it's kind of between themselves.
I always loved the verve and vivacity of pulp and I kind of merged it with my own interest in family stories.
I've always been fascinated by the Mississippi River and the way of life in these small river towns.
I am well aware that the writers of New York, London, and Toronto are more readily noticed, though the shadowy and potent Ozarks Literary Cabal does what it can for me, then nightly joins me for dinner and calls me 'honey.'
When poetry is on the money, 12 words can slay you. I admire that greatly.
I have a Ford Taurus, and I don't care who knows it.
I guess it's ridiculously romantic, but I wanted to be a full tilt, sink-or-swim writer.
Earned a bachelor's at 27, then an M.F.A. that is still completely unused and in mint condition, never taken out of the box.