Good morning, Amanda!
Good morning. I’m sorry I’m late. The kids, you know, and I spilled the coffee. It’s so damn hot.
How hot is it there in Austin, Texas?
At present, it is 106.
Wow, that’s pretty hot.
Yesterday, it was 107.
You should move to Maine or something!
We did move to Maine, in fact. And Cape Cod. But then we came home to Texas.
Do you think finding the place you call home is important to you, as a writer?
Absolutely. If I had to choose a few themes I tend to work around, they would be: finding a home, what evil lurks within us, and the uneven nature of justice. And, of course, love. But I don’t think about theme when I’m writing.
What do you think about?
Character. I get to know my characters and then let them run the show. I love spending time in my fictional worlds, but they can be as unpredictable as the real one.
Amanda, what would you like to say this morning?
I feel very lucky to be able to spend mornings typing at my desk. The world falls away, and I find a peace that’s nowhere else. I truly love to write. I fall asleep at night thinking about my characters, and I wake up thinking about my characters. If it weren’t for my family—my kids’ hands pulling me back into this world—I might exist solely in my novels. There are times, at barbecues or soccer games, when I’m not fully present: I am halfway in my other life, the one I made up.
I used to write in my kids’ closet, but then we moved and I had a light-filled room overlooking the trees. I wrote there for six months. Everything I wrote was bad. I just moved back into a dim closet. It just feels cozier in here. I still use the same IKEA desk on which I wrote Sleep Toward Heaven. My dream is to have a permanent motel room nearby, perhaps a room overlooking a pool, where I could spy on strangers and go swimming and have free coffee in the lobby.
Close Your Eyes is the hardest book I’ve written in my life. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did, and I’m really proud of the book.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.
No problem. Stay cool, Amanda.
You too, Amanda.