Patrick deWitt Quotes.
The impetus for ‘The Sisters Brothers’ was it occurred to me that there was no neurosis in westerns, or there’s a minimal amount of it.
Our blood is the same, we just use it differently.
Bernie Madoff is probably more nuanced then I’m giving him credit for, but I just couldn’t get under his skin.
I don’t necessarily want to make people stomp and clap. I simply want to engage people.
Whenever we changed schools, we had to make a new set of friends. At the time, of course, I hated it. But looking back now, I’m really glad I did, because it forces independence on you.
I know a lot of people who use the Internet really wisely. It enriches their lives in some way.
Often the starting point for characters, for me, is finding a little, most minor detail, and I’ll go from there.
I’ve fallen in love in my life a few times. It’s the most exciting part of being alive – that I’ve experienced, anyway.
I don’t know that happy people are interesting to write about – or to read about.
The hardest thing in the world for a writer is to amass a readership. So many good books come out, and so many good books disappear.
One of the nice things about writing is you can take essentially painful things in your life and turn them into something that might be useful, or at least entertaining, to somebody else.
Returning his pen to its holder, he told us, ‘I will have him gutted with that scythe. I will hang him by his own intestines.’ At this piece of dramatic exposition, I could not hep but roll my eyes. A length of intestines would not carry the weight of a child, much less a full grown man.
Especially if you’re endeavouring daily to write your own books, you read with a degree of – well, it’s hard to forget you’re a writer when you’re reading.
The question about my Canadianness comes up a lot, and I’m never quite sure what to say about it. I’ve carved a life out for myself in Oregon, and it feels like home, not because it’s the States but because that’s where my friends are and where my son is.
A lot of my favourite books – I should say, not much happens in the books! It’s much more about the points of view of the author more than anything else.
I sighed. вЂIt doesnвЂ™t matter what we do. Money comes and goes.вЂ™ I shook my head. вЂIt doesnвЂ™t matter and you know it doesnвЂ™t.
The reason I like Portland is the idea of going to a supermarket and knowing there’s no way to be recognized. L.A. is so social.
Humorous writing is often thought of as substandard in comparison to work with a more dramatic or tragic intent. I don’t know what to say to this except that I disagree wholeheartedly.
Certain writers look down their noses at plot, and I think I might have been one of them until I tried it.
I felt like love has been underrepresented – unironic love, just actually really falling in love.
I am increasingly unimpressed by works of art that require a college degree to understand. I think that art should be for everyone. And people should be moved by it.
We can all of us be hurt, and no one is exclusively safe from worry and sadness.
I understand the desire to write and read about the death of publishing. It’s a perversely and universally appealing topic.
All the books I was reading as a teenager were about individuals having adventures. So I thought that was what writers were supposed to do: to go out on the road.
I had no plan to write a western novel, and when I realized it was happening, I was pretty surprised by it. But you have to go with what feels right.
We rode along in silence, thinking our private thoughts. Charlie and I had an unspoken agreement not to throw ourselves into speedy travel just after a meal. There were many hardships to our type of life and we took these small comforts as they came; I found they added up to something decent enough to carry on
Luck was something you either earned or invented through strength of character. You had to come by it honestly; you could not trick or bluff your way into it.
I am a bit prudish, I think. It’s hard for me to write about sex, and I don’t really care to read about it, either.
The initial spark, your affection for the characters, all those things can disappear. It’s a perilous thing.
I heard somewhere that whenever you write a book, people will ask you One Question about it over and over. And while I’m no expert in these matters, this is proving to be true. My first book dealt with a not-that-pleasant degenerate type, and the One Question was, ‘Is this an autobiographical story?’
I’m either enjoying myself or I’m not. And if I’m not enjoying myself, something’s gone terribly wrong.
It’s healthy to have interests besides books.
I was intentionally curbing the impulse to be funny and hiding the ability. I wrote any number of very serious attempts at poems, short stories, novels – horrible. At a certain point, I recognized that it was fun to write dialogue that had a degree of lightness and humor.
My first book didn’t even have a Canadian publisher. And that upset me, because I so wanted a readership up there.
I’m not an enormous proponent of plot as a reader. It’s about other things; my reading has become specialized over the years.
Working in a bar was a horrific idea for me.
By the time I left the bar, I was 30. I was a dishwasher. They call it a bar-back, but essentially, I washed dishes for a living. I had no high-school diploma, I had no agent, and my literary successes were non-existent… but it was the only thing I ever wanted to do, so I did feel trapped.
I thought, When a man is properly drunk it is as though he is an a room by himself–there is a physical, impenetrable separation between him and his fellows.
More and more, I find myself turning away from everything relating to contemporary society. I don’t know how healthy it is, but I am creating a very private bubble that I live in.
Looking around, I saw so many unhappy adults, people who loathed their jobs, and I didn’t want to be one of them.
‘The Sisters Brothers’ has endeared so many prize juries because the Western format has more of a broad appeal and is familiar to readers.
I wouldn’t want to write a biography of anyone. I’d feel too inhibited by the facts and too much pressure to do the subject’s life justice.
I have a paranoia that ‘Ablutions’ is the best thing I’ll ever do.
I’ve stopped reading about the death of books because it’s wasteful and morbid and insulting to the authors, agents, publishers, booksellers, critics, and readers that keep the world community of fiction interesting.
I am a homebody, something that lends itself to my profession.
I don’t consider Los Angeles home anymore; ultimately, it was pretty negative, but I did spend my formative years in the Valley and all around L.A. proper. Through my teenage years and into my young adulthood, up until the age of 30, I spent a good amount of time there.
I carry a small spiral notebook with me at all times and have been doing this for many years. There’s a shoe box in my closet filled with these notebooks, each riddled with notes and impressions, ideas, schemes, and soup recipes.
I will admit he is unusual, but that is perhaps the closest I could come to complimenting him.
My instinct is to write under the cloak of an opaque historical setting.
It is true, I thought. I am living a life.
After school, I got a job in a shop in Hollywood and shared an apartment with a friend. I promptly lost my job and got evicted from my apartment, and that happened several times.
I’m never doing anything by rote. I’m only on thin ice, and I think that that’s a good place to be. I feel like when you push yourself like that, the rewards can be pretty great.
I don’t know that I’d call myself an optimist.
I lay in the dark thinking about the difficulties of family, how crazy and crooked the stories of a bloodline can be.
If I were to continue to work in an established mode, it stands to reason the work would be limited by this – that it would never surpass the prior work in quality.
Love is dangerous; it’s not something to be trifled with. As good as it feels on the way in, it feels that much worse on the way out.
When you meet someone you love, whether or not they love you back, something occurs in you that makes you want to improve yourself.
I saw my bulky person in the windows of the passing storefronts and wondered, when will that man there find himself to be loved?
If you’re not riddled with doubt, you’ve probably done something wrong.
I think of myself as somebody who, in a moment-to-moment way, I’m quite happy. But I think I am a bit doubtful and wary of true happiness, and, like a lot of my friends, there’s been a good degree of self-sabotage.
Here is another miserable mental image I will have to catalog and make room for.
I come by writing dialogue fairly naturally, I’ve got a chatty family; I’m a bit of a voyeur, and if I’m ever in a public place, I automatically find myself listening.
I kept trying to write these books that were sort of outside of my realm, and I kept failing.
After ‘The Sisters Brothers,’ I tried to write a contemporary story dealing with an investment adviser in New York City who moves to Paris. I did all this research, but after about a year and any number of pages written, I was bored stiff.
Every industry has slack times, and everyone has bad days at work.
…but I could not sleep without proper covering and spent the rest of the night rewriting lost arguments from my past, altering history so that I emerged victorious.
Come with me into the world and reclaim your independence. You stand to gain so much, and riches are the least of it.
Hurried business is bad business.
You put a wage behind something, it gives the act a sort of respectability.
I’ve always felt so fortunate to have writing to turn to every day. I’m obsessed with it.