You live among this ridiculous wealth and you get lost. You worry about nonsense like spirituality and inner health and satisfaction and relationships.You have no idea what it is like to starve, to watch yourself turn to bones.
You can't have an up without a down, a right without a left, a back without a front - or a happy without a sad.
What I want to do is tell stories about normal people in the American suburbs. I don't write the book where it's a conspiracy reaching the prime minister; I don't write the book with the big serial killer who lops off heads. My setting is a very placid pool of suburbia, family life. And within that I can make pretty big splashes.
I'm not a big sports fan.
I blinked and the images were gone. But I remembered how the laugh and the howl and the splash would ripple and echo in the stillness of our lake, and I wondered if ripples and echoes like those ever fully die away, if somewhere in the woods my father's joyful yelps still bounced quietly off the trees. Silly thought, but there you go.
'Caught' is a novel of forgiveness, and the past and the present - who should be and who shouldn't be forgiven. None of my books are ever just about thrills, or it won't work.
Tragedy is a hell of a teacher. It's much too strict, but it's a hell of a teacher.
The state of New Jersey is really two places - terrible cities and wonderful suburbs. I live in the suburbs, the final battleground of the American dream, where people get married and have kids and try to scratch out a happy life for themselves. It's very romantic in that way, but a bit naive. I like to play with that in my work.
I always say three things make a writer: inspiration, obviously; perspiration, doing the work. But the third is desperation. I'm not really fit for anything else, or to have a real job. That fear drives me. The pressure has always been self inflicted.
In the end, we know what makes us happy. We also know what makes us unhappy. That's the irony. We know and yet we still mess it up. That's part of the human condition, no, and why we need to work on it.