Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is your favorite color?
Q: Where were you born?
A: Berkeley, CA.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: Yes. Four brothers and two sisters.
Q: Do you have any pets?
Q: How long have you been writing books?
A: My first novel, Drawing Dead, was published in 1993.
Q: Do you know Christopher Paolini?
Q: Do you know J.K. Rowling?
Q: Do you know Stephanie Meyer?
A: NO! NO! NO! Enough already! I don't know Suzanne Collins either!
Q: Why isn't this website more awesome?
A: Click here.
Q: You have written a lot of books about poker. Are you trying to cash in on the poker craze?
A: Listen, Binky, I've been writing books about poker since before you were born (assuming you were born after 1993). Furthermore, my most recent "poker" novel, All-In, was well under way back in 1999, before most Americans had ever heard of Texas Hold'em. So there. But yes, I do hope to cash in on the poker craze. I plan to do it at the tables.
Q: How come you quit writing books for adults?
A: I (sputter) I never...I didn't!!! In the first place, my so-called "YA" books are not off limits to adult readers. It might do you good! Secondly, I never stopped writing "adult" novels. I published adult novels in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2006. So gimme a break—I do what I can.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: Ideas are everywhere. Every issue of every newspaper, every casual conversation, every postcard, every commute to work, every cup of coffee is packed with ideas. Even if you've never written a word, you already have thousands of ideas bouncing around inside your skull. The trick is to figure out how to turn those ideas into a story. That's the hard part. And the fun part.
Q: How much money do you make?
A: Royalties on my books come to approximately $312,000,000.00 per year. That's about $2000 per word. Although I am richer than J. K. Rowling, Stephen King and John Grisham put together, I live a modest lifestyle and use most of my money in an effort to save the Reticulated Elf Weasel. Today, it is estimated that only 19 elf weasels still survive in the bottomlands of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Efforts to save them include the construction of "weasel tubes" (corrugated steel passageways which allow the weasels to safely cross roadways) and the introduction of habitat in the form of "weasel boxes." These weasel boxes, which look like elongated wren houses on short poles, are now common in certain areas of southwestern Wisconsin, where the Save the Reticulated Elf Weasel Foundation has offered a reward of $1,000,000 to anyone whose weasel box becomes occupied by a breeding pair of elf weasels. Thus far, the reward fund remains undepleted. To learn more about Reticulated Elf Weasels visit the official website of the Save the Reticulated Elf Weasel Foundation at www.savethereticulatedelfweaselfoundation.org
Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
A: I read books, play poker, hunt mushrooms, take naps, talk with Mary Logue, watch movies, nap, inline skate, bike, and nap. I love to cook. Most Friday nights I dress up in an evening gown and high heels and sing opera on street corners with my partner Winky the Blind Flutophonist.
Not really. You can't believe everything you read on the web.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: The current playlist on my iPod contains...let's see... Snoop Dogg, Glenn Gould, Concrete Blond, Eminem, Iggy Pop, Queens of the Stone Age, Depeche Mode, Rhianna, Victoria Williams, The Sex Pistols, Tim Buckley, Dolly Parton, K.D. Lang, and Billie Holiday. I prefer not to listen to music featuring bagpipes, accordians, or singing whales.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: There are hundreds! Here are ten of my favorites--they aren't necessarily the top ten, just the first ten that come to mind:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry
Triton by Samuel R. Delany
The Lord of the Rings by J. R .R. Tolkein
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming
The Book of the New Sun (tetralogy) by Gene Wolfe
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Lyonesse (trilogy) by Jack Vance
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Unknown Man No. 89 by Elmore Leonard
Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
Oops, I guess that's thirteen—six living authors and seven dead. I could easily come up with a couple dozen more , including works by Raymond Chandler, Algis Budrys, and P. G. Wodehouse. You may notice that there is a lot of science fiction and fantasy on the list, probably because SFF comprised the bulk of my reading during my protracted adolescence (1962 to yesterday).
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: It depends on the book. Mr. Was took about 8 years from the time I started thinking about it to the time I finished the first draft. No Limit took a mere 9 months. I wrote the first chapter of Hole in the Sky in 1988, wrote the first half of the book over a few weeks in 1998, let it sit for six months, then took another year to finish it, working on it a few days at a time. Sweetblood took 25 years to write, while Invisible was written in about six weeks. I often get stuck when I'm writing. Rather than brood about it, I'll set a book aside for weeks, months, or years and work on something else. I usually have several projects underway.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I'm working on a book about pizza. I like pizza.