DuBois - my intellectual hero - had written an obit of Madam, praising her... I began to see Madam Walker beyond the definitions others had given her.
The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief - call it what you will - than any book ever written. It has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor-bicycle and golf course.
To have a part that is written for you certainly helps an actor.
I developed a mania for Fitzgerald - by the time I'd graduated from high school I'd read everything he'd written. I started with 'The Great Gatsby' and moved on to 'Tender Is the Night,' which just swept me away. Then I read 'This Side of Paradise,' his novel about Princeton - I literally slept with that book under my pillow for two years.
Biographies are no longer written to explain or explore the greatness of the great. They redress balances, explore secret weaknesses, demolish legends.
I am not an academic who happens to have written a novel. I am a novelist who happens to be quite good academically.
If you look on Amazon - if you do a search for personal finance, there are literally 20,000 books written on personal finance, and there's no real reason for it. I mean, personal finance is pretty simple.
The rules are all in a sixty-four-page pamphlet by Aristotle called 'Poetics.' It was written almost three thousand years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you're writing, you've probably broken one of Aristotle's rules.
I've never written anything that I haven't wanted to write again. I want to, and still am, writing 'A Few Good Men' again. I didn't know what I was doing then, and I'm still trying to get it right. I would write 'The Social Network' again if they would let me, I'd write 'Moneyball' again. I would write 'The West Wing' again.
Any time you get two people in a room who disagree about anything, the time of day, there is a scene to be written. That's what I look for.