I don't especially like to travel, not the way many people do. I know many people that love to go to far-off and different places, and I've never been like that. I seem to get homesick as quickly as a child.
In the kind of New England I'm from, you are expected to stay and marry somebody from New England - well, Maine, actually - so I think it was seen as a betrayal when I left for New York, which has been my refuge.
I do reread, kind of obsessively, partly for the surprise of how the same book reads at a different point in life, and partly to have the sense of returning to an old friend.
I've always been tremendously interested in criminal law. It goes to a deep interest I have in prisons and the criminal element, and what we do as a society with it. I've always been touched by the idea of criminality.
I love the comfort of daily life's routines: things like being able to read a paper on the subway. It's no accident that my favourite word is 'quotidian.'
I'm writing for my ideal reader, for somebody who's willing to take the time, who's willing to get lost in a new world, who's willing to do their part. But then I have to do my part and give them a sound and a voice that they believe in enough to keep going.
I grew up on a dirt road in Maine, and pretty much everybody on that dirt road was related to me, and they were old. And so grumpy.
I love theater. I love sitting in an audience and having the actors right there, playing out what it means to be a human being.
I don't know if I have a memory of not thinking I was a writer - it goes that far back. I went to law school because I didn't know how to earn a living otherwise. I tried to ignore the pull, but it wouldn't let me.
I don't want to live in Maine full time, but the physical beauty is very striking. It is the exact opposite of New York. When you walk through my small town to get a cup of coffee, you bump into five people you know.
I love arranging the words and having them fall on the ear the right way, and you know you're not quite there, and you're redoing it and redoing it, and there's a wonderful thrill to it. But it is hard. It's a job of tremendous anxiety for me.
I think, really, that the only way a person can open their heart to someone who is so much another is really by knowing them... whether that's in a classroom, or a soccer team, or a food pantry, or any of those things. I mean, we're kind of more alike than we are different.
Oh, I do a tremendous amount of rewriting. I just obsessively rewrite. Although sometimes there are sections, sometimes you're just lucky and a paragraph will just kind of come out. And that's great. But that's not ordinary in a day's work.
Bullies are just frightened people.
I do write by hand. I just think - I don't know, it's a physical thing for me. It's a bodily thing. It literally has to earn its way through my hand.
I don't ever really know where I get my characters from.
I don't think there was a particular book that made me want to write. They all did. I always wanted to write.
I don't think there's anybody I write about who I don't care for deeply in some way, no matter what their behavior is.
I sometimes miss the sense of excitement that I remember having when I was younger. I miss that sense of, 'Oh wow.' I think it's part of aging.
I was a pretty terrible lawyer. A really, really terrible lawyer.