I love reading about great writers, especially when they give you advice. Usually it’s advice about writing, which is good because I’m a writer. But every now and then you come across a few gems about life, which is even better because despite being writers we’re all human.
This article by The Guardian is a kind of abridged interview with Audrey Niffenegger. It’s not long, but if you’re time-poor at the moment, I’ll save you clicking the link. These are my favourite bits:
I can make my characters’ lives really quite miserable. I don’t feel a duty to give hope or do the right thing, only to get inside the person’s head and try to understand how horrendous some things might feel.
I generally expect things not to go very well. Occasionally people do lovely things and surprise me. It’s better that way.
I enjoy being a redhead. As an artist I approve of it – it’s a better colour.
I found all this really interesting firstly because of the scientific kind of approach to her characters, working with curiosity rather than sympathy.
Secondly, the idea of keeping your expectations low so everything seems better. Maybe it’s less about being pessimistic and more about being realistic.
And lastly, everyone loves a redhead.