If there was one overarching theme to 'True Detective,' I would say it was that, as human beings, we are nothing but the stories we live and die by - so you'd better be careful what stories you tell yourself.
At DePauw, I was teaching writing and fiction. The things I wanted to teach, more than anything else, were form and theory of the novel, of narrative. I liked those classes.
'True Detective' is a densely layered work with resonant details and symbology and rich characterization under the guise of one of the forms of this mystery genre. That's what we shoot for.
'The Atlantic' really gave me my writing career - even just the conviction to be a writer.
We're all born storytellers. It's part of the species. But, more specifically, I suppose a particular combination of sensitivity and trauma made me a writer: an essential disquiet with reality, which required exploration through portrayal.
I liked teaching, but the bureaucracy of academia and the petty intrigue... It wasn't a good fit. Once I admitted that myself, that I didn't like academia, I was ready to try TV.
I find the constraints of drama actually freeing: It brings everything down to character and action.
When you're a confused 19-year-old filled with questions you can't even articulate and a kind of black rage that feeds at your heart from the moment you wake up in the morning, and you discover Marcus Aurelius' 'The Meditations,' that changes your life.
I read 'The Conspiracy Against the Human Race' and found it incredibly powerful writing. For me as a reader, it was less impactful as philosophy than as one writer's ultimate confessional: an absolute horror story, where the self is the monster.
I grew up in Louisiana and spent my formative years there. There's a contradictory nature to the place and a sort of sinister quality underneath it all.
Killing characters on television has become an easy short cut to cathartic emotion.
It's better to not have a reputation than a bad one.
The idea of being a show runner was very attractive to me, to create and control something.
If I write scripts that nobody likes, I don't think we'll be doing 'True Detective.'
I made 'True Detective' like it was going to be the only thing I ever made for television. So put in everything and the kitchen sink. Everything.
I was raised by television. It was my first cultural window. It was a constant companion.
Art was always for me an escape and a way to relate to the world around me.
I don't think you can create effectively toward expectation. I'm not in the service business.
If landscape is a character for me, then it helps if I'm familiar with it and I already have a take on it.
For me as a storyteller, I want to follow the characters and the story through what they organically demand.