There is a lot of contradictions of mermaids as a symbol. I'm always interested in contradictions.

I think that young readers have very strong stomachs.

In Nagasaki, American planes did drop warning leaflets - but not till Aug. 10, a day after the city was bombed.

Economic and health statistics, as well as police-violence statistics, shed light on the pressures on American Indian communities and individuals: Indian youths have the highest suicide rate of any United States ethnic group.

There has to be space for play in literature. We all need some breathing room.

You're lucky if people like your book, and the more people that like it, the luckier I feel.

When I was 16, I went to Berlin - West Berlin, since at that time a wall still divided the city - to live for three months with a family on an exchange program.

When 'Watchmen' was published in 1986, the vast majority of comics readers deemed it a watershed in comics history. The 12-part serial comic book was widely acclaimed as a genius subversion of the superhero genre, and it did much to popularize comics to adults.

In October 2014, for the first time in almost three-quarters of a century, a gray wolf was seen loping along the forested North Rim of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. She had walked hundreds of miles, probably from Wyoming or Idaho.

Names and other proper nouns shouldn't distract from the language.

'Dept. of Speculation' contains numerous enviable lines.

Both climate change and extinction are results of our tyranny over the nonhuman world and our domination of, and exploitation of, whole categories of each other - and those, in turn, are clearly linked to agriculture, the cattle-industrial complex, capitalism.

If you're going to do a thing, do it fully so that no writing you give the world misrepresents you - so that nothing you put out there is like a sad regift you couldn't throw away and had to find a place for.

What makes 'The Lorax' such a powerful fable is partly its shamelessness. It pulls no punches; it wears its teacher heart on its sleeve.

It seems to me that the time for subtlety in our American life has passed.

In Hiroshima, bombed Aug. 6, 1945, no warning was given of the air attack, and thus no escape was possible for the mostly women, children and old people who fell victim.

Children depend mightily on animals for comfort, inspiration, imagination, and art. And parents have long recognized this.

Do we seek delicate phraseology in politics or other forms of public life? We do not.

Trophy hunters are not Everyman. These world-traveling endangered-species shooters are a far cry from the hunters who spend weekends in the American outback near their suburban or rural homes.

Wyoming, home to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons, is also the country's largest coal producer and one of its largest gas drillers. Two-thirds of the state's gas-drilling rigs are on public lands in the increasingly industrialized Greater Green River Basin.

At writing workshops, they taught us to show, not tell - well, showing takes time.

Most climate debates have focused on cutting the use of fossil fuels. But besides a few high-profile scuffles over fuel extraction in vulnerable wild places like the offshore Arctic, political leaders have ignored fossil fuel production as a necessary piece of climate strategy.

I never seem to leave L.A., though I left L.A.

Everyone desires to laugh sometimes, and I want to make that available.

On climate change, we have only a handful of years to make massive changes, according to the scientists. The politicians have to act, and only the people can make them, because Royal Dutch Shell's not going to do it.

I'm not calculating enough in the way I approach writing.

People who are obsessed amuse me.

My motto is, if you love something, don't set it free. No matter how hard it struggles. That would be stupid.

I can be pretty dense about my own basic needs, when my focus is getting through the many small tasks of a day's work and a day's caretaking.

Most of my books have something to do with L.A.

I have a king bed, one of those memory-foam mattresses that doesn't jiggle as you get in or out. Even if you cleaved it down the middle with a pickax, the thing wouldn't tremble. It's practically earthquake-proof.

Oil drilling and coal mining are killing endangered wildlife, polluting rivers, creating smog over wilderness areas and blocking wildlife corridors in America's most treasured landscapes.

The summer after I got divorced, my children asked to sleep in my bed again. It would be the first time we'd shared a bed since they were infants.

Shouldn't the cascades of extinction and rapid planetary warming register in our literature?

More than two million years ago, mammoths and Asian elephants took different evolutionary paths - and around the same time, according to DNA research, so did their lumbering relatives in Africa.

I'm for any woman who loves sloths.

Indeed, the hype around 'Watchmen' is its curse. If you want to enjoy the comic for what it is, ignore the attributions of literariness and the novelistic pretensions with which some critics have imbued it. This isn't high culture, and it doesn't pretend to be. It's good, juicy pulp fiction with a little nuclear apocalypse thrown in.

I like to amuse myself.

After numerous generations of people dedicated to killing wolves on the North American continent, one generation devoted itself to letting wolves live.

I don't write the same book twice.

I think the best fiction is a form of psychological suspense, even though I don't really write in that idiom.

If you're doing creative work, that work should never feel trivial - even if what you're doing is for hire or lightly intended. Even the mundane doesn't have to be trivial.

For almost two centuries, American gray wolves, vilified in fact as well as fiction, were the victims of vicious government extermination programs. By the time the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, only a few hundred of these once-great predators were left in the lower 48 states.