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Ann Patchett

Write because you love the art and the discipline, not because you're looking to sell something.

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I think people become consumed with selling a book when they need to be consumed with writing it.

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People gave me such a bad time about wanting a baby. I didn't want a baby, and I still don't. I wanted a dog.

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I don't write for an audience, I don't think whether my book will sell, I don't sell it before I finish writing it.

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Part of it is living in Tennessee. I'm so out of the loop. And as a person, I'm out of the loop. I'm oblivious by nature.

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I can write for any magazine now, in any voice. I can do it in two hours, I could do it in my sleep, it's like writing a grocery list.

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Well, I always say that the two things I was most disastrous at in my life, being a teenager and being a wife, were the two things I really wound up cashing in on when I was writing fluffy magazine pieces.

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Praise and criticism seem to me to operate exactly on the same level. If you get a great review, it's really thrilling for about ten minutes. If you get a bad review, it's really crushing for ten minutes. Either way, you go on.

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You see an absolutely brilliant film later, as an adult, and you walk out thinking about what to have for dinner. Whereas something like Jaws winds up having a huge effect on me. If only my parents had been taking me to Kurosawa films when I was eight, but no.

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I was very influenced by The Magic Mountain. It's a book that had a huge impact on me. I loved that as a shape for a novel: put a bunch of people in a beautiful place, give them all tuberculosis, make them all stay in a fur sleeping bag for several years and see what happens.

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