Our ability to adapt is amazing. Our ability to change isn't quite as spectacular.
I didn't feel a strong bond with the parents who raised me, and I had anything but a happy childhood. My mother was overly sensitive; my father, ascetic. I was neither. I felt as if I were living with complete strangers. I suspect that my parents felt the same way.
'Await Your Reply' by Dan Chaon. I've always been obsessed with the idea of disappearing and becoming someone else. Even if you don't share that obsession, I can't recommend this book highly enough.
My mother, at sixty, is one of those classic beauties: all neck and cheekbones, sharp lines that hide her wrinkles from a distance. She still gets whistles from construction workers from three stories up.
I liked the idea of exposing the beams in collaborative novel. And there are many - especially in the crime world - there are many people working together: James Patterson and his stable of sub authors; and then there are like Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman and Jason Starr.
For more than three months, I had been president and primary owner of Spellman Investigations, and I can say with complete certainty that I had more power in this office as an underling. My title, it seemed, was purely decorative. I was captain of an unfashionable and sinking ship.
Six years after I wrote the first draft of 'Plan B,' I received my first paycheck as a writer. It included both the $3,000 in deferred option money as well as half the fee for performing the initial rewrite. The amount was scale according to the Writer's Guild guidelines, but a lot, according to me.
I have certain rules for snooping, under which anything out in the open is fair game.
I have certain rules for snooping, under which anything out in the open is fair game. But I also think, in light of some current trends in our culture, that privacy should be respected.
Although I'm not an orphan and I can't lift a horse. I was, however, briefly famous for my feats of strength: at about age 11, I could competitively arm-wrestle a full-grown man.
We're all amateur investigators. We scan bookshelves, we ogle trinkets left out in the open, we calculate the cost of furniture and study the photographs on display; sometimes we even check out the medicine cabinet.
I wrote my first screenplay on a lark, because it was a storytelling format that felt like a familiar shorthand - we all watch movies, don't we? But even though I grew up in Los Angeles, my family was entirely unconnected with the movie industry, and I never truly believed that it would one day be my fate.
Sometimes a single item can wrap up, in a nutshell, who a person is. In my grandparents' home, a clear plastic container was enthroned on top of the mahogany bar for at least a decade. Painted on the lid in pink, yellow and light blue was 'Have a Nosh With Mort & Ethel'.
Maggie is my sister-in-law, married to my brother David. She is a defense attorney who devotes 25 percent of her practice to pro bono wrongful-incarceration cases.
I am a huge Mel Brooks fan. And I do think that not seeing his canon of classics is a bit criminal or clueless.
If you're trying to hide, avoid using your own name. Have a couple spares that you can pull out of your pocket anytime, the more thoroughly documented the better.