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

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

The only books I give up on are texts where the writer's attention is concentrated so heavily on narrative questions that his or her use of language becomes careless.

I found my first novel difficult. I don't want to make it sound like it's any more difficult than driving a cab or going to any other job, but there are so many opportunities for self-doubt, that you just kind of need to soldier on.

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

I'm terrified of cliches.

For me it was perfect, because it wasn't a very competitive environment, and it was a studio program. They basically send you off, and say, bring us some work, and we'll help you improve it. It really rewarded self-discipline.

Travel definitely affects me as a writer.

I've always been so interested in both the visual beauty of mollusks and the tactile feel of them. As a kid, I collected them all the time.

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

We buy a copy of 'Gravity's Rainbow,' say, and we carry our copy home. We open it; we fall into it. And it is here that the word 'copy' fails. Because what I experience when I read 'Gravity's Rainbow,' or 'Beloved,' or 'The Moviegoer,' is not at all a 'copy' of what you experience when you read the same novel.

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.

I kind of do all of this writing as a way of thinking and learning. I'm sure it's similar to being a journalist: You get to learn, and that's the greatest kind of job.

Learned to read, and for a while as a kid, you think books are just leaves on trees. Then suddenly, you think a human being is making that, and maybe you could do that.

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

Maybe scarcity isn't always a bad thing. Maybe scarcity is something to seek out, to fabricate for oneself.