Jayne Anne Phillips
I’m a language-oriented writer who proceeds sentence by sentence.
I write line by line, by the sound and the weight and the music of the words.
I wish I had more time to write.
I don’t write a novel every two years.
I don’t investigate things by writing about them, but let them build up inside of me.
Character and story are suggested by the voice in the words themselves.
Books about women and children are not valued in the same way as a book about war. And why is that? I don’t know.
I work via the high-tension-wire method, which is maybe going for long periods without writing while the tension builds up – when am I going to write this, am I going to be able to write this, what is this image about – and I’m thinking about it all the time, but I’m not really inside it, inside the writing.
It’s my theory that many writers were the confidantes of one or the other parent. I was my mother’s confidante; she had been her mother’s confidante.
Writing provides no guarantees. And writers who stay with writing do it for reasons that are larger than self.
I tell my students that being a writer is like being a member of a medieval guild and that what we are doing is very subversive and very important.
I see my work as a continuum, moving from book to book.
I don’t outline; I listen to a kind of whisper inside the material.
I don’t do much rewriting, because each paragraph is very carefully put together.
I think we really forget how connected we are to the past.