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.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

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.

Great writers probably shouldn't be ranked, at least not by me.

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 feel like it has gone very fast for me, but I feel like it wasn't instantaneous, at all. I was getting a lot of rejections. I just got very lucky and it happened quickly for me. I don't feel like I'm a prodigy or something.

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.

Fridays after school, especially when the weather was lousy, Mom would take me to the library. She'd let me check out whatever I wanted, and I checked out a lot.

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.

It wasn't until I was 26 or 25 when I started sending work out to magazines.

Memory is this one attempt to not be erased by time. And I think that ties back to what I learned watching my grandmother lose her memories is, you know, we are all facing erasure eventually.

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

I always told my dad I'd play professional football.

I don't believe in reincarnation. I feel like we're here for such an appallingly brief period of time. I believe we each get this one trip, and if we're really, really fortunate, maybe we get 70 or 80 years on Earth.

'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.

Fiction writing is just an excuse to go discover interesting things.