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The turning point was when I hit my 30th birthday. I thought, if really want to write, it's time to start. I picked up the book How to Write a Novel in 90 Days. The author said to just write three pages a day, and I figured, I can do this. I never got past Page 3 of that book.
Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It's the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It's that important, so don't mess it up. Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.
I usually give a book 40 pages. If it doesn't grab me by then, adios. With young adult books, you can usually tell by Page 4 if it's worth the time. The author establishes the conflict early, sometimes in the first sentence. The themes of hope, family, friendship and overcoming hardship appeal to most everyone.
I don't write for an auditorium full of people. I don't write for the microphone; I write for the page.
I don't think I'm an angry person. I think I'm a person who's angry. I'm angry at the Bush administration; I'm angry at the right wing media. And by that I don't mean the media is right wing. I mean, there is a part of the media that's not the mainstream media. That's Fox, that is 'The Wall Street Journal' editorial page.