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Donald E. Westlake's Quotes

Donald E. Westlake profile photo

Born: 1933-07-12
Profession: Writer
Nation: American
Biography of Donald E. Westlake

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A friend of mine, now retired, was then a major exec at a major bank, and one of her jobs, the last four years, was the farewell interview.

Tags: Farewell, Friend, Her

Who's a boy gonna talk to if not his mother?

Tags: Mother, Talk

All of the changes in publishing since 1960 are significant. There are far fewer publishers.

Tags: Changes, Far, Since

Everybody in New York is looking for something. Once in a while, somebody finds it.

Tags: Looking, Once, While

I make a note, set it aside, and hope it makes sense when the time comes to look at it again.

Tags: Hope, Sense, Time

If it weren't for received ideas, the publishing industry wouldn't have any ideas at all.

Tags: Ideas, Industry, Weren

If you think of movie studio executives, say, as society, then I root for the independent producers.

Tags: Movie, Society, Studio

Sorry; I have no space left for advice. Just do it.

Tags: Advice, Left, Sorry

I also wanted Parker to operate in the Internet age without losing being Parker. He's always operated in the world without really being with the world, and cyberspace means that the rest of us are more and more living the same way.

Tags: Age, Living, Wanted

I loved it, but social reality impeded. Now I wander in here at 9 in the morning or so, and come back for a while in the afternoon. I am a very lenient boss.

Tags: Here, Morning, Reality

I start with the story, almost in the old campfire sense, and the story leads to both the characters, which actors should best be cast in this story, and the language. The choice of words, more than anything else, creates the feeling that the story gives off.

Tags: Best, Feeling, Words

My work schedule has changed over the years. The one constant is, when at work on a novel, I try to work seven days a week, so as not to lose touch with that world. Within that, I'm flexible on hours and output.

Tags: Lose, Try, Work

Nothing about it interested me. Or about anything else, except making up stories. If literacy weren't so nearly universal, God knows what I'd be. A drain on the State, I shouldn't wonder.

Tags: Else, God, Making

Once he became a series character, I made the conscious choice that he would never act like a series character, never wink at the reader, never pull his punches. Better for him, better for me.

Tags: Character, Choice, Him

Seem to be telling this, but really telling that. Three-dimensional writing, like three-dimensional chess. Nabokov was the other master of that. You could learn something from Nabokov on every page he ever wrote.

Tags: Learn, Seem, Writing

The many magazines, ranging from pulp to slick, that used to serve as both farm teams for writers and lures to readers, with hundreds of short stories every month, don't exist. Most of the doors for new people have been sealed.

Tags: Both, Short, Used

When Stark isn't off sulking somewhere, or whatever he's doing when he won't return my calls, I alternate between the two. That usually works well, though occasionally an idea for the wrong guy drifts through my mind.

Tags: Between, Mind, Wrong