I think some people think that writers read and read and read, get the information, and then write. That's not how it works. Often, you write yourself into a dark place where you don't know what you need to know, so you go get the information.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Lewis Robinson's first novel, 'Water Dogs,' is stuffed with snow. Open practically any page of this book, and crystals will shake out.

'Research,' for me, is a big word that encompasses a lot of different activities, all of them based around curiosity. Research is traveling to places, or studying snowflakes with a magnifying glass, or excavating one's memories. Research is walking around Hamburg with a notebook.

When I was a boy, all the books I owned fit on a single shelf. Now I have several thousand stacked around the house.

I listen to podcasts while I run in Boise's foothills.

I'll read anything Anne Carson writes, anything J. M. Coetzee writes, and anything Cormac McCarthy writes. I'll drop whatever I'm doing to read a new Mary Ruefle essay.

'Never do the dishes without music,' my brother Mark once advised me - the same brother who once ate a spoonful of refrigerated dog food to escape his turn at the kitchen sink. And really, it may be the most sensible advice I've been given.

Short stories are not maybe the biggest deal in our culture anymore.

My sister-in-law is a painter, and I'll say, how long did it take you to paint that painting. She'll say, It took me maybe three days, but it took me all my life to get the skills to paint that painting.

Without always meaning to, I write really long short stories, 60-pagers, 90-pagers, pieces of fiction that are too long for all but the bravest magazines to print, and too short for all but the bravest book publishers to publish.

I write reviews of science books for the Boston Globe, so I like to give science books.

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

My parents would drive us to Florida every spring in this big old, rusy Suburban, and we'd collect stuff on the beach for our aquarium back in Ohio; we had this big saltwater aquarium back in Ohio. Every time we found anything, any mollusk, my mom would bring out the guidebook and quiz us on what it was, so that stuff was built in early.

Science and literature are both ways to ask questions about why we're here.

Twain's 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' made me long to wake in an era when my Casio wristwatch would strike folks as sorcery, and Martin Amis's 'Time's Arrow' wrecked my assumption that all narratives had to proceed from Then to More-Recently-Than-Then.