Best-Selling Writers on Writing: Alice Sebold, Nicholas Sparks, Sue Monk Kidd, Junot Diaz and Paulo Coelho


“Around age 10 or 11. I began by writing poems. When I showed them to a teacher, my mother was called to the school for a chat. The poems were thought to be too graphic and mature.” – ALICE SEBOLD on when she first started writing [FT]

“I don’t know if I necessarily believe in fate or destiny, though I’m a big believer in the fact that people have the ability to influence the future in a way that seems coincidental and when that happens, the feeling of fate or destiny is amplified. A basketball player, for instance, could practice a certain shot over and over until perfected and later, when the game is on the line, he might have the chance to make that exact same shot. To him, it might feel like destiny, to others, it might seem like fate, but in reality, it was simply a coincidence that seemed powerful because of how often it had been practiced.” – NICHOLAS SPARKS on the role of destiny in his books [Taiwan News]

“One reason I wrote this book is because I wanted to tell of a community of African-American women who took in a desperate young white girl, and I wanted to create an understanding of the image of the Black Madonna. And, I thought, maybe in some way this might make up for the injustices I had seen in my life.” – SUE MONK KIDD on what spurred her to write THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES [The Post and Courier]

“Nerdy and fat is something we see a lot, but Dominican is the problem in that formulation. I wanted to write a character who buries himself in these stories that are really ignored, science fiction, fantasy.” – JUNOT DIAZ on his protagonist Oscar Wao [IFOA]

“Fun. It’s such a pleasure to do this. I’m not a person that socializes very well. I don’t go to cocktail parties. I don’t go to parties in general. I discovered this fantastic world behind the web that helps me a lot as far as a professional, as a writer.” – PAULO COELHO on why he promotes his work online [Reuters]