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

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

I grew up in Cleveland, so my heart got attached at a young age to the freight train of sadness that is Cleveland sports.

I guess whatever maturity is there may be there because I've been keeping a journal forever. In high school my friends would make fun of me - you're doing your man diary again. So I was always trying to translate experience into words.

I do fish. I think there is a connection between thinking and fishing mostly because you spend a lot of time up to your waist in water without a whole lot to keep your mind busy.

In my students, I'm always dispelling the notion that characters come like a light bulb over the head in cartoons. For me, it's like a shapeless big lump of clay. You just build it into something, and then you step back and go, 'That's not right,' hack it apart, put out a new arm, and say, 'Maybe this will walk around and work.'

Travel definitely affects me as a writer.

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

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

'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.

I guess you could say I've been writing all my life.

My mom was a high school science teacher for decades. She just never made it feel like we had to choose between the arts and the sciences. We had bookshelves full of novels, and she also had Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold and Carl Sagan.

The world is so fundamentally interesting that it makes me fall in love with it a dozen times a day.

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.

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