I think fiction is important because it has the power to transport a reader into another life.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Indeed, every book on my shelves is a key to a little vault of memories.

If you're lucky enough to have 70 years of literate adulthood, and if you read one book every week, you're still only going to get to 3,640 books.

Fiction writers have long turned to winter to advance bluer palettes, slicker surfaces, and sharper contrasts. The sky darkens, the wind picks up, and flakes start to fall. Horizons shrink. Couples bicker. Cars slide off roads. Obliteration tends to loiter between the sentences.

You need to be imagining all the time, imagining yourself outside the walls of your own skull.

What I tell young writers is to find those things that you're so passionate about that your energy doesn't run away.

That's the power of fiction, that it can take the collective and make it personal.

I did go to an MFA program, at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. For me, it worked perfectly. It was a small program. They only take five fiction writers a year, and they fund all of us - you don't go into debt to get an MFA. It's not like getting an MBA - you're not going to buy yourself out.

Sometimes, when the neighborhood is silent and the sky is aswarm with the stars and the mind is swirling like a flushed toilet, a person gets to doubting himself. In the hardest times, the stand-at-the-kitchen-sink-and-stare-into-the blackness times, I put on Bob Dylan's 'Tomorrow Is a Long Time.'

Supposedly, some writers work in rowdy coffee shops or compose whole novels to Megadeth, but when I write, I wear a pair of chainsaw operator's earmuffs.

If our biological imperative is to pass our genes to the next generation, our moral imperative has to be to try, before we become corpses, to leave them a planet they can survive on.

Growing up, I loved to play. Writing was a natural outtake of play. I realize now, having kids, that maybe that's unusual. Living out in the middle of nowhere, I entertained myself by writing.

Sometimes my readers ask me what else they should read, and I recommend Sebald.

All around us right now, tucked into the valleys and along the coasts, bookshops glow in the winter light. Think of them like singular, magical, and multi-dimensional recipe boxes. They wait for us to pluck out a card, to stand over the stove, to start cooking.

You don't say, I'm going to be a writer when I grow up - at least I didn't.