Where are you from?Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare. Borges. Goethe. Kalidasa. Emily Dickinson. Dante. Ludovico Ariosto. Chaucer.
Ovid, Lord Byron, and Boccaccio make me happy when I think of their books, but I think that's because they remind me of my teens; I haven't read them extensively recently, and am a little afraid to do so.
Among contemporary writers: Cormac McCarthy is probably my favorite living writer. I also like a few contemporary poets, A.E. Stallings, Don Paterson, and Kay Ryan; and the nonfiction writers V. S. Naipaul and John Keegan.
Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
No one book in particular. I try to learn something technical or architectural from everything I read, and in some cases, try to learn what not to do; so probably everything I've read could come under my list of influences, even books I stopped reading or didn't like.
What are your hobbies and outside interests?
Writing is my outside interest.
What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
When I was in my teens, my parents said I should become a doctor, or at least become some kind of non-literary professional, and do the literary stuff on the side. I agreed with them then, and I am glad I did. It's really made me a whole person and turned writing into a relaxation for me.
What is your favorite quote?
Toujours de l'audace. Danton. It's been a kind of literary rallying-cry for me.
What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
I don't have any readers. I'm a poet, remember?
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was a James Bond fan when I was eleven (and have remained one). So I wrote my first novel at eleven, The Sunracer, starring none other than...James Bond. (I didn't understand copyright infringement back then). It concerned a secret missile that could "outrace the sun across the sky" (is that really saying much?); had a sex scene; and, when submitted as a dot-matrix printout bound with three rings, was rejected by G. P. Putnam's Sons.
That's right, eat your heart out, G. P. Putnam's sons. You could have had me.
Where do you write?
In my house...on a computer...whenever I have the time...