The best compliment came from Knopf's Sonny Mehta. We were at lunch in New York with my editor, Gary Fisketjon, it was my first time meeting Sonny, and after ordering our food, he turned to me and said, 'Adam, I read 'Mr. Peanut' in two days; every page surprised me, and that, I can assure you, doesn't happen often.'
Personally, I read fiction, in part, because I get to spend time with people who aren't my people.
I think that if you have a knack for storytelling, and you work really hard at it, you'll have a chance to tap into something deep. But the fact remains that good sentences are hard won. Any writer worth a lick knows constructing a sentence, a paragraph, or a chapter is hard work.
In a crazy way, writing is a lot like any kind of very complex game – like chess, where you have the knowledge as you're composing all of the ramifications of each move, of each choice you make.
Marriage is a kind of prison for anyone who's miserable in it – men and women alike – and anyone who's suffered through difficult periods in marriage dreams of escape from it.
Once when I went over my work with my Washington University professor, the late great Stanley Elkin, he pointed to a passage of mine and said: 'Stop vamping.' It has remained a caution.
'Mr. Peanut' is not about a man who dreams of killing his wife; that's jacket copy, to me. 'Mr. Peanut' is about the dynamism of marriage and the distances – some tragic, some redemptive – that marriages travel over time, and those travels ain't always pretty.
There was a long stint during my childhood after I gave up on being a pro football player – we're talking sixth grade here – that I strongly considered a future writing and drawing comic books. I have been making stuff up ever since.
Writers do well to carefully attend to those moments of inspiration, because chances are that they're writing from a very deep place. The subsequent search that ensues to continually attend to that voice that you hear is what is going to give the story drive.
I play golf, but sometimes it's so un-relaxing, I have to play tennis to wind down. Now that I think about it, this process is sort of like when I go out for sushi and have to get a slice of pizza afterward.