Where are you from?
Wolfe City, Texas in the northeast part of the state. "Last Picture Show" country, except now we have color.
Who are your favorite writers?
Cormac McCarthy, Richard Ford, Walker Percy, Rainier Rilke, Edmund S. Morgan
Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
In American history, the great stylist, Edmund S. Morgan, especially his AMERICAN SLAVERY, AMERICAN FREEDOM; in fiction, few grasp the essence of the American experience like Richard Ford, especially his INDEPENDENCE.
What are your hobbies and outside interests?
Film, baseball, golf
What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
Two pieces of advice: Write toward your ending. Remember your audience.
What is your favorite quote?
My friend Tom Chaffin wisely told me: "Don't ever wrestle with a pig because you'll both get dirty. . . . and the pig will like it."
What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
How long did it take you to write it? The answer: no matter how long it actually took, "too long."
What inspired you to write your first book?
Aside from tenure considerations, it was an abiding curiosity about the differentness of the past.
Where do you write?
Mostly at my computer following the sage advice of the author of the film "Witness": "8 a.m., butt in chair."