Well, I think everything I've ever read contributes to the background from which I write.
This flattery has been rather slow in coming. I think all of sudden late in life now I'm getting some credit for what I've done. Which is gratifying, but it's kind of a little late.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, because I read and read and read. I read everything.
There was a writer in the '20s called Christopher Morley, who I remember a little bit of, who had some influence on me, but I couldn't tell you what it was.
Then there was Clark Ashton Smith, who wrote for Weird Tales and who had a wild imagination. He wasn't a very talented writer, but his imagination was wonderful.
The story was such that I couldn't make a graceful ending and then make a graceful new beginning. I could have, but I didn't want to. So, it isn't the most graceful way of writing a story. This new story is, I think, is pretty good stuff. I'm pleased with it anyway.
Sometimes some of these little side excursions are useful and I manage to fit them in the book somewhere.
So I'll write it, and then I'll find out that I actually wrote something that is utterly useless. You can't use it in the story and it doesn't fit. So I just throw it away. I've done that countless times.
Right now I'm so old that if I had a big gush of money, I don't know what I'd do with it. I don't travel anymore. I don't need anything, don't want anything. I'd give it to my son, I guess, and let him enjoy it.
It's just I wanted to get myself in a line of work where I didn't have a boss, where I didn't have to show up any place at any particular time.
It seems to limit you when you're working in an office, you're a creature in a small cell under somebody's supervision and surveillance.
In fact, almost every job you get somebody watching you.
I'd never been published when I was young.
I worked for half a cent a word. I'm not a fast writer to begin with, so for the first few years I had do other things.
I was an omnivore at reading, so that everything I ever read contributed.
I was a carpenter for a time and everybody watches what you do.
I never worked in an office in my life.
I never made lots of money at it, but I sold enough.
I just wrote what I felt like writing since they seemed to sell.
I haven't sold to the movies. In other words, I haven't gotten any enormous checks yet.
I haven't been to a movie since somebody gave me free tickets to Star Wars, which I went to.
I got done writing Ports of Call and suddenly realized I have far too much material for the book.
I don't read other science fiction. I don't read any at all.
I don't have much vanity. I just know what I do. I just do because I'm capable of doing it and do it easily without any pretentiousness.
I do read books. I suppose it's more or less the same thing, but at least I'm alone and I'm an individual. I can stop anytime I want, which I frequently do.