You start with your life experience and then you can become more inventive, but the human relationships always come from your own life experience.
Usually a good part of the people trying it end up not making it.
The first thing you have to do is get immersed in the project, organizing yourself, knowing what you are going after and not going after.
It is extremely important to know what you don't want to find.
I was too heavy to be a jockey and too honest to be a producer, so I became a writer.
I was a terrible English student.
I realized there was more to be said about the Larkin family and certainly more to be understood about the Easter Rising and the significance of it.
I have drawn inspiration from the Marine Corps, the Jewish struggle in Palestine and Israel, and the Irish.
I essentially write for myself.
My guiding thought throughout was that the real Marine story had not been told. We were a different breed of men who looked at war in a different way.
Often we have no time for our friends but all the time in the world for our enemies.
Writing, basically breaks down to relationships between people and that is what you write about.
So writing is a very, very difficult position to obtain... and retain.
I enjoy writing, sometimes I think that most writers will tell you about the agony of writing more than the joy of writing, but writing is what I was meant to do.
I am very proud of this work because it is more about the meaning of the Easter Rising and its relationship to what this whole century has been about, people liberating themselves, freeing themselves.
You usually don't know what you are going to write about so you go to the places and talk to the people who were identified with the events.
Your book catches on like any other new product and once it does you are there and how you behave when you get there is up to you.
Research to me is as important or more important than the writing. It is the foundation upon which the book is built.
My first book was rejected nine times. It turned out to be a best seller, Battle Cry in 1953.
I have been writing for 50 years and readers still read my first book from when I was in the Marine Corps.
On one occasion I went to Afghanistan to look at the borders and learn something about the situation there to see if my book was thereand it wasn't.
She said the book that changed her life was Exodus ... a sense of identification.
You can try to reach an audience, but you just write what comes out of you and you just hope that it is accepted. You do not write specifically to a generation.
I do not write for an audience.
The Jews struggled and stuck together. Their tenacity kept them alive. The fact that my book was a part of this struggle is my greatest achievement.