Who is your imagined audience? Does it at all coincide with the real one?
Not until the real one carries me through the streets of a conquered city in a palanquin, or the imagined one stops pelting me with rocks.
How do you know when you're finished?
When they pry the laptop from my cold, dead hands.
Do you feel you have any glaring or secret flaw as a writer?
Too many to mention.
Do you feel you learn anything from criticism of your own work? From criticism in general?
From criticism in general, all sorts of things. From criticism of my own work, rarely much that I can do anything about.
Do you find rituals or routines of any use?
No, but I perform them constantly.
Is there such a thing as a literary community?
Yes. Unfortunately, it's just as problematic and fraught as all the other communities.
Has the conceit of The American Novelist has changed in your lifetime?
No. The American Novelist, whoever s/he is, still won't return my calls. Snob.
Drug of choice to write with?
A carefully administered mixture of espresso and whiskey, taken eight hours apart.
Drug of choice to stop writing?
Disciplined or hot dog?
Hot, disciplined dog. With relish.
Your ideal reader?
Like me, only better looking and more awake.
Best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Which classic author would you like to see kicked out of the pantheon?
All of them. But only so we can move them to the Parthenon.
What's your favorite negative emotion?
Lust for revenge.
Los Angeles: idea or city?
Can you listen to music while writing? (If so, what?)
Drones, tones. "Three chords good, two chords better, one chord best."
Most hated word?
What is your go-to shoe?
Prada boots with Cuban-heels.
Have you ever been defeated by a genre?
Noir and I are in extra innings of a scoreless tie. We've been playing since 1986, but I'm unwilling to say 'defeated' just yet.
At what age, if ever, did you begin to think of yourself as a writer?
At precisely the same age I began to think of my "...read more