Hiaasen author photo
March 12, 1953 |
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
|Genre||Crime fiction, thrillers, satirical fiction|
|Subject||Environmentalism, government corruption|
|Spouse||Fenia Clizer (1999â€“present)
Connie Lyford (1970â€“1996)
Obviously you have to make a profit to put out a newspaper. I'm not an idiot. But when the margins are in excess of 25 per cent you're talking about greed.
There's so much hate that we direct externally that we forget we have our own psychos. But that's the role of the satirist – you have to examine your own country and say, 'look!'
All novels are about crime. You'd be hard pressed to find any novel that does not have an element of crime. I don't see myself as a crime novelist, but there are crimes in my books. That's the nature of storytelling, if you want to reflect the real world.
Everybody's idea of a great book is different, of course. For me it's one that makes my jaw drop on every page, the writing is so original.
The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.
Kids feel so strongly about what's going on today and what's happening to the world, and that's very inspiring. I feel more hopeful than ever before about the future.
If you write satire, the guilty pleasure these days is that there's just so much material about. On the other hand, if you have a family it can be depressing.
My books are shelved in different places, depending on the bookstore. Sometimes they can be found in the Mystery section, sometimes in the Humor department, and occasionally even in the Literature aisle, which is somewhat astounding.
When I'm working on a novel of my own, I try to read mostly nonfiction, although sometimes I break down and peek at something else.
I'd love to see a good script of one of my books, in these years of animations and comic book sequels, and had so many written over the years, but none quite clicked.
To me, the newspaper business was a way to learn about life and how things worked in the real world and how people spoke. You learn all the skills – you learn to listen, you learn to take notes – everything you use later as a novelist was valuable training in the newspaper world. But I always wanted to write novels.
I've always enjoyed making people laugh. But in order for me to be funny, I have to get ticked off about something.
The one word that no politician will ever speak, is 'enough.' Enough.
We've always been fascinated with movie stars and singers, but the fascination with people who really have nothing to offer is something new.
As frightening as this may sound, what you see in the books is the way I see the world. And so far I haven't seen anything, either in Florida or elsewhere, to dissuade me from it.
When you're given a newspaper column, you're not being paid to sit on a fence and scratch your chin and say 'On the one hand this' and 'On the other hand that.' You're getting paid for your opinion.
There is no writer's block in a newsroom. There's only unemployment block.
Informed opponents of Obama's healthcare initiative have expressed dismay at the low level of discourse.
I don't have an e-reader. One reason is that I like to dog-ear the page when I find a particularly good sentence or passage.
Sure, I'll have characters drop in and out of books but the main cast of characters always changes. Maybe I'm wrong but I think if had the same joe detective guy or gal, I wouldn't write them as well; I wouldn't do as good a job.
I never laugh or smile when I am writing. When I come home for lunch after writing all morning, my wife says I look like I just came home from a funeral. This is not bragging. This is an illness.
Humor can be an incredible lacerating and effective weapon. And that is the way I use it.
From my experience, politicians are much more uncomfortable being made fun of than they are being preached at and screeched at – you know, and the soapbox routine. They're much more uneasy knowing they're a target of ridicule.
The one thing a lifetime in the newspaper business teaches you is pace – you spend all your time trying to make sure that the reader's going to finish what you're writing.
Here's my rule: You always want to pay cash for your own books, because if they look at the name on the credit card and then they look at the name on the book jacket, then there's this look of such profound sympathy for you that you had to resort to this. It really is withering.
Good satire comes from anger. It comes from a sense of injustice, that there are wrongs in the world that need to be fixed. And what better place to get that well of venom and outrage boiling than a newsroom, because you're on the front lines.
My driving record is not exemplary, but I have never had a speeding ticket over 100 m.p.h. I can say that unequivocally.
People say sometimes, gosh, that was brave of you to write such-and-such last week. 'Brave?' What do they mean 'brave?' It's right! How could you not write it?
It's easy to get distracted by the vaudevillian aspects of the healthcare debate.
Nobody with an IQ higher than emergency-room temperature could ever believe that 'death panels' would be appointed to nudge the elderly toward euthanasia. Yet for idle entertainment, it's hard to beat Sarah Palin's ignorant nattering on the subject.
I think in the old days, the nexus of weirdness ran through Southern California, and to a degree New York City. I think it's changed so that every bizarre story in the country now has a Florida connection. I don't know why, except it must be some inversion of magnetic poles or something.
Unfortunately, I don't get to read nearly as much as I want because I'm always working on my own stuff, either the novels or newspaper columns.
I think it's always good for the author to stay a good cattle prod's distance from the actual moviemaking.
I got overwhelmed by the magnitude of the celebrity culture in America. My background is as a news journalist, and newsrooms in the US are shrinking – investigation teams are being terminated or shrunk on newspapers all around the country. The one aspect that's expanded is coverage of celebrity culture.
You can do the best research and be making the strongest intellectual argument, but if readers don't get past the third paragraph you've wasted your energy and valuable ink.
When you put on the suits, when you pretend you're honest and you're robbing at a far higher level, these guys deserve to… well, to be in my novels, and I have special fates reserved for them.
My humour has always come from anger, but I have to make sure I don't just get angry and jump on a soapbox.
Lots of people can write a good first page but to sustain it, that's my litmus test. If I flip to the middle of the book and there's a piece of dialogue that's just outstanding, or a description, then I'll flip back to the first page and start it.
They have a crystalline sense of right and wrong; it disappears when they walk out the door with their M.B.A.
Disney's something to be a little alarmed about. It's not just a little theme park anymore. It's now an ethic and outlook and strategy that goes way beyond central Florida.
The Florida in my novels is not as seedy as the real Florida. It's hard to stay ahead of the curve. Every time I write a scene that I think is the sickest thing I have ever dreamed up, it is surpassed by something that happens in real life.
When I'm deciding to read a book, I never open to the first chapter, because that's been revised and worked over 88 times. I'll just turn to the middle of the book, to the middle of a chapter, and just read a random page and I'll know right away whether this is the real deal or not.
I've never progressed very far from my days as a smart aleck in middle school.