I've spent roughly one-fifth of my life, seven years out of 34, cranking these things out, usually, as is the case with the one you're reading, so close to deadline that the editors probably wanted to throttle me. Some of them came to me so easily it seemed as if my fingers were a direct line to my thoughts, and the keyboard was just an extension of that machinery. Others just did not want to be written, and I had to wrench them out of my brain, sentence by sentence. The former were reminders why it's such a joy to get paid to write, while the latter were illustrative of what a grind writing can be. I often think about what Truman Capote said concerning the art of putting words on the page: "Writing is hard, and you get depressed." It's never easy, but when it's going well, there aren't many better feelings, at least not for me.