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  • Why I Write...Oliver North: Mysteries & Thrillers Fall 2012

    Combat Outpost Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 16, 2012—It’s been nearly 48 hours since we have been able to send or receive e-mail. Now that we’re back inside a U.S. base with access to the Internet, my inbox is full of mail—all requiring immediate response. The question above—“Why Do I Write?” relayed by my publisher, Simon and Schuster—is at the top of the stack.

  • Why I Write...Sarah MacLean: Focus on Romance: Fall 2012

    I’m not entirely sure why I write.

  • Why I Write...Carol Miller: Focus on Music 2012

    It’s easier for me to write than speak.

  • Why I Write: Michael Dobbs: Military Books 2012

    I am not the kind of writer who derives physical pleasure from the act of writing.

  • Why I Write...Tyler Florence

    The Food Network chef shows "how beautiful, simple, and, of course, delicious fresh food can be."

  • Why I Write...Laurann Dohner: Focus on Romance 2012

    I have always been a huge lover of books. I blew through the children’s section before I hit my 10th birthday and was given parental permission to borrow any book in the library. I discovered horror, mystery, and eventually romance novels. I could easily read 20 to 30 books a week during the summers, consuming entire series. In my teens I wrote poetry for fun, and I read a romance novel when I was 22 that totally upset me. The main characters made me angry, and the woman chased after this total jerk I hated. I thought I could write a better story.

  • Why I Write...P.L. Gaus

    My purpose in writing the Amish-Country Mysteries is to illuminate Amish culture in a mystery novel, where everything about a person’s culture, family, mindset, and motive is pertinent to the solution of the mystery. Quite naturally, I have often been asked why I write murder mysteries about Amish people, who are arguably the most peaceful Americans anyone knows, and my answer is always in two parts. First, Amish society is endlessly fascinating, and it deserves to be better understood. Second, crime fiction gives us one of the best vehicles in popular fiction to explore the human condition.

  • Why I Write...Maureen N. McLane

    I write poetry as a mode of inquiry, of response, of sounding out, of feeling out, of thinking through, of joining in; I write poetry to communicate and not to communicate—for as D.W. Winnicott wrote, “it is joy to be hidden but disaster not to be found.” I write poetry because “I have wasted my life” (James Wright). I write poetry because, as Mahmoud Darwish said, as Valéry said, a rhythm seizes me.

  • Why I Write...R.A. Dickey

    My first memory of being drawn to literature came in the seventh grade at Montgomery Bell Academy, an all-boys school in Nashville, Tenn. We were studying the poetry of Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe. I remember being mesmerized by Frost’s use of iambic tetrameter in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and Poe’s use of alliteration in “The Raven.” It was the first time in my life that written words moved me. Then and there, I began to be captivated by writing. I started penning my own poetry—casting consonance aside—and tried to capture my thoughts and feelings about life in poetic form. At my teacher’s urging, I entered a haiku in a regional competition and wound up winning. When they announced my name, I thought it must’ve been a mistake.

  • Why I Write...Pico Iyer

    I write—though perhaps it sounds pretentious to say so—to make a clearing in the wilderness, to find out what I care about and what exactly to make of it. Every day so many experiences, feelings, incidents, encounters crash in on us, and every morning I retire to my desk to make a kind of sense of them, to put them into a larger frame, to find out what my priorities should be.

  • Why I Write: Ted Allen

    In My Kitchen showcases the relaxed side of Food Network star Ted Allen, host of the cutthroat cooking competition Chopped. Here, he shares the story of the less-glamorous half of his career: the writing life.

  • Why I Write...Sara Paretsky

    Years ago, when I was in my 20s, I heard an interview with the composer Aaron Copland. The interviewer asked why it had been more than a decade since Copland’s last completed composition. I thought the question was insensitive, but Copland’s answer frightened me: “Songs stopped coming to me,” he said.

  • Why I Write...Loren D. Estleman

    Easy question. It’s the only thing I do well, and I like to eat. Given the choice, I’d be a professional singer, with Justin Bieber opening for me in Vegas.

  • Why I Write...Mark Ribowsky

    This is a question I have asked myself, not in any rhetorical or philosophical sense, but in utter frustration. Writing is not a profession, after all; it’s an obsession, a long-term sentence in a rubber room of uncertainty and doubt. As much as one does write, it is never enough, never good enough, never enough to stop and admire. The next episode beckons, with even more doubt. Why, indeed. Why not something easier on the digestive and nervous systems, something like, say, neurosurgery or bomb defusing?

  • Why I Write...W. Bruce Cameron

    When I was in grade school, my teachers decided I was just about the dumbest thing to come through the door in a long time. Whatever the lesson, whatever the subject, I would sit and listen to them with a lost, glassy-eyed expression on my face. If they asked me a question, I would struggle as if awakening from a nap, then frown, shrug, and shake my head. I didn’t know the answer. I usually didn’t even know the question.

  • Why I Write...Ramsey Campbell

    I began writing horror fiction in an attempt to pay back some of the pleasure the field had given me. I continue because I still don’t feel I’ve found the boundaries of the genre, by which I certainly don’t feel restricted (although the way it has become a marketing ghetto is another matter). I’ve always regarded it as a branch of literature

  • Why I Write...Duff McKagan

    I’m known for being a “rock guy”—playing on stages here and there... sweating... running around... and even cussing sometimes. But I’ve been doing some growing up over the past 10 or 12 years now...

  • Why I Write...Max Hastings

    When I was a bored teenager, my father tried to persuade me to pass the time by writing something. He delivered lyrical harangues extolling “the challenge of a blank sheet of paper.” At the time, his words meant nothing, because like most children I took up a pen only reluctantly, at school, under threat of sanctions.

  • Why I Write: Sam Talbot

    I'm a jumping-bean kind of guy. I get up early, and I stay up late, and in between, I'm on the move—surfing, yoga, walking the dog, painting big, colorful, slightly mad canvases, going from one place to another. I just can't stop being in action in some way.

  • Why I Write... Nalini Singh

    In my newest release, Kiss of Snow (Berkley), the protagonists, Hawke and Sienna, appear utterly wrong for each other at first glance. Hawke is much older, the alpha of the largest changeling wolf pack in the country and a man marked by painful emotional scars caused by the Psy (a race of psychic people who have been conditioned to feel no emotion), while Sienna is not only a young woman but a powerful Psy struggling with the escalating strength of a deadly power that could cost her everything. Each time they meet, the two incite frustration, anger, and pain in one another

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