Fiction should be an ethically safe space, free of fancy ideas. It should be dedicated modestly to relationships or escapism or the needs of luscious voyeurs.

If I can't find a way to love it, I let it go. Kind of the opposite of the popular homily.

We were a Seuss family. As a child, I read almost all of his books, but the one I loved best was 'The Lorax.'

As soon as a regular guy like Bill Clinton becomes the president, he wears a mantle of greatness. He's the president.

We read our children stories starring elephants and monkeys and bears to teach them about nobility, curiosity and courage, to warn them against selfishness and stubbornness.

Historically, grizzlies ranged from Alaska to Mexico, with at least 50,000 bears living in the western half of the contiguous United States. With European colonization, the bears were shot, poisoned, and trapped to the brink of extinction.

I came to understand that a German nudist, in 1984, loved little more than to work on his or her tan.

Within the macho-melodrama tropes of the superhero genre, it's fair to say 'Watchmen' stands out for its rich entertainment, its darkness, and its lurid pleasures. Its vividly drawn panels, moody colors and lush imagery make its popularity well-deserved, if disproportionate.

I used to try to write around the edges, but now I try to walk a more direct line.

The Free Body Culture gave me a gift I might never have received had I refused to play along. It left me with an acute sense of the absurd - one I still cherish - to be there among my fellow apes, awkward and less than half-willing, aiming and missing, leaping, landing and wincing.

Snark describes a cynical position, and I'm not interested in that.

If Oak Flat were a Christian holy site or, for that matter, Jewish or Muslim, no senator who wished to remain in office would dare to sneak a backdoor deal for its destruction into a spending bill - no matter what mining-company profits or jobs might result. But this is Indian religion.

Work-wise, I try not to repeat myself too often. And I have to love whatever I'm doing.

I don't tend to picture my characters as actors and actresses.

Without even knowing why, we believe that to learn how to be human - which we have many years to do, for human beings have longer childhoods than any other species, a feature that to biologists and philosophers alike is one of our race's distinguishing characteristics - children must be surrounded by animal imagery.

Pugs are creatures of habit.

The question of one versus two species of African elephants isn't about settling an arcane DNA argument; it's about life or death for these majestic, extraordinary creatures.

I've seen a few wild grizzly bears, mostly in Alaska and British Columbia, and always from a distance. But each grizzly I've caught sight of was as fearsome and sublime as the last. You never get used to their raw power and massive bodies, or the mysterious intelligence in their dark, close-set eyes.

One man's holy is another woman's sublime.

At 16, I was more resilient and easygoing than I am now.

I've always wondered: is there really any access to the White House?

I love irony.

I advise, if you're stymied by a passage or paragraph or plot point - whether it's for an assignment from the outside world or one that comes only from within - get up from wherever you're sitting, walk outdoors, and do nothing but look at the sky for five minutes. Just stare at that thing. Then execute a small bow and go back in.

No one bought my screenplays.

In December 2011, a wild gray wolf set foot in California, the first sighting in almost a century. He'd wandered in from Oregon, looking for a mate.

People from the rest of the state tend to hate Phoenix, with that typical resentment of the boroughs and the towns for the big city.

L.A., for me, is a perfect microcosm of America - because it's so profligate, and so glamorous, and so anti-intellectual, finally.

I had hoped that going to Hiroshima would reveal something small, gritty, and precise to countervail the epic quality of historical accounts.

In 1805, the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, making their way across the West, were warned by American Indian tribes of grizzly bears' awesome strength.

African elephants have long been thought of as a single species, but a critical mass of genetic studies now proves there are two.

The Safari Club International has worked the legal system hard to try to keep polar bears - threatened primarily by climate change, but also by hunting - on the list of creatures people can import as trophies after shooting.

When it comes to American Indians, mainstream America suffers from willful blindness.

Domestic realism has dominated the American marketplace for decades now. It leeches into literary fiction, and I don't think it's that rich a vein.

If the dinosaurs are any indication, there's a place in our pantheon for the extinct. My son has a blue plushy allosaurus he calls Spot-Spot, with whom he often sleeps.

You need not fear my extinction. Fear my proliferation! I've already reproduced!

I wanted to go into the tropics and save animals - and write, of course.

It's a friendly act to write a lighthearted book.

I don't like names that are clever or made-up sounding.

Marriage is like the romantic ideal, and yet the trappings around it and the culture about it are really the opposite of that.

The male domination and chauvinism of the comics form is either being wittily lampooned in 'Watchmen' or handily perpetuated, depending on whom you ask.

About half of all potential future global warming emissions from United States fossil fuels lie in oil, gas and coal buried beneath our public lands, controlled by the federal government and owned by the American people - and not yet leased to private industry for fuel extraction.

I wanted to write about this tropical honeymoon in part because I had the most drastically terrible honeymoon.

I worry about the very pernicious way we elevate and separate ourselves from other beasts, the way we rationalize our comfort and ease, our worship of the self, as healthy. It's enticing, but with a terrible taint of evil.

The grizzly bears that live in and around Yellowstone make up almost half the population in the lower 48 states, and now those bears are at risk.

In the 1970s, Safari Club International asked the federal government to approve its import of 1,125 not-yet-killed trophies of 40 endangered species, including gorillas, orangutans and tigers, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

We paint a slow picture. You can see the brushstrokes. We don't get to the point, and sometimes when we do, our readers don't notice, in fact. It's so couched in nuance, it can fly right over a person's head. 'What was that you said? I couldn't quite make it out.'

Without elephants, Africa's landscape would be unrecognizable, yet these animals have fallen by the hundreds of thousands as a result of two enormous waves of poaching in this century - one in the 1970s and 1980s, the other, beginning around 2009, now underway.

I've always been interested in obsessive, insane people.

The comic novels I did when I was in my 20s had a harder edge - less sympathy for people. Or a sympathy that was harder to detect: Characters' foibles and obsessive bents were unrelenting, like caricatures.