Ray Bradbury is, for many reasons, the most influential writer in my life. Throughout our long friendship, Ray supplied not only his terrific stories but a grand model of what a writer could be, should be, and yet rarely is: brilliant and charming and accessible, willing to tolerate and to teach, happy to inspire but also to be inspired.
I think romance is friendship and attraction sort of meeting together and that does influence what I’m writing a lot. I try to establish the attraction, obviously, but I also think it’s important to show the characters having actual conversations about things other than their feelings for each other – and to develop their friendship on the page.
Because most people are not sufficiently employed in themselves, they run about loose, hungering for employment, and satisfy themselves in various supererogatory occupations. The easiest of these occupations, which have all to do with making things already made, is the making of people: it is called the art of friendship.