“As a teenager, I spent hours dreaming up plots for books. This was something I felt was cooler than going to the mall,
In this online exclusive we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. We see this as a place for writers to turn to for ideas that will help feed their creative process.
“When I was eight years old my mother found me beneath my younger brother's crib in the fetal position and sweating. I was sick with a terrible fever.
“Every week, my mailbox explodes with magazines—National Geographic, the New Yorker, O, and People.
“Don't take notes. This is counterintuitive, but bear with me.
“I love turning to field guides, old issues of National Geographic, or biology textbooks to get a jump start when the writing comes slow.
“The time I spend in the saddle on long bicycle tours—day after day, with no clear sense of where I might camp or buy food or shower—influences my writing process.
“When I’m feeling a bit blue as a writer, I give myself an arts assignment, one that often features ‘categorical’ elements.
“The bath. Endlessly, luxuriously, the tub. I write almost every morning and after an hour or two or three or (if I’m very lucky) four, I run out of road. And then I know it’s time.
“Dog walks with no iPhone access force me to pay attention to San Francisco’s world-class characters, who are wonderfully weird and story provoking. I recently saw a shirtless Jesus doppelgänger playing drums while riding a beach cruiser uphill, which has already made it into my next novel.
“I have a small loft in my house where I write; I like being up high with my laptop and a few books.