Crime fiction makes money. It may be harder for writers to get published, but crime is doing better than most of what we like to call CanLit. It's elementary, plot-driven, character-rich story-telling at its best.

— Linwood Barclay

The most sublime Linwood Barclay quotes that will transform you to a better person

I was born in Darien, Connecticut, but in 1959, when I was four, my parents moved to the suburbs of Toronto. Then, in the late 1960s, they bought a cottage in a resort/trailer park in the Kawarthas region of Ontario, and we moved up there. I wrote a book about it in 2000 called 'Last Resort: Coming of Age in Cottage Country.

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Switching over to a hybrid car is one of those right things, but, unfairly or not, it still has a reputation among car enthusiasts as something you have to pedal really fast when you're on the ramp merging into traffic on the 401.

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Once you come up with a premise, you have to work out how it all happened.

It's a bit like coming up with a spectacular roof design first. Before you can get it up there, you need to build a solid foundation and supporting structure.

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Before I left the 'Star' last year to write books full-time, I welcomed catastrophe. It was material. Missed planes, broken pipes, dead lawns, digestive disorders, you name it, if it was something that had gone horribly wrong, it was worth banging out 600 words about.

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It's one thing, holding open the door for someone at a grocery store, or the library, or just about anyplace else. But the doughnut shop is a different thing altogether. This is a get-in-and-out-as-fast-as-you-can operation. There's no room for courtesy or chivalry here.

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I was filling entire school notebooks with stories by Grade 3.

Of course, they were double-spaced, and the handwriting was huge.

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Facebook, from what I can tell, is the virtual equivalent of dropping into the homes of several million people, all of whom say at the same time: 'Hey! Let's set up the slide projector!

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Some authors, when starting a novel, imagine a place first.

Others, a character starts taking shape in their head. I start with a hook, a situation, a 'what if.

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Al Gore, the former vice-president of the United States, lives in a mansion that uses more electricity than the average family's bungalow! David Suzuki rides on a bus that uses more fuel than a Smart car to get across Canada! Oh my God! And this is just the tip of the vanishing iceberg!

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Sometimes, it`s easier to tell a stranger something very personal.

It`s like there`s less risk, opening yourself up to someone who doesn`t know you.

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These days, my subjects are murder and mayhem and other terrible things that happen to people - things that are even worse than cutting yourself shaving. And these are not the sorts of things you feel the need to experience before you write about them.

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Even if I couldn't get my early novels published, I could still write.

I went into newspapers, where I got paid to write every day. If there's a better school for would-be novelists, I don't know what it is.

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About Linwood Barclay

Quotes 18 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday 1955

Once I have a hook I think has potential - enough to spin out more than a hundred thousand words, then I start turning my attention to characters. Who are these people? Why did this thing happen to them? But the hook always comes first.

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My biggest complaint about drivers out in the country has tended to be that they're not in a great hurry to get where they're going. This is particularly true of old men wearing hats. If you get behind an old guy wearing a hat on a winding road, you might as well just phone ahead on your cell and tell your friends you're going to be late.

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Generally speaking, rural drivers are a much better behaved species than city drivers. I'm not sure whether they're intrinsically this way, or there are just fewer opportunities for them to do behave badly. You can't go around running red lights if there aren't any red lights to run.

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When I was in my early 20s, my dream was to write mystery novels.

I wanted to do what my favourite crime writer, Ross Macdonald, did - crank out a book a year. The only problem - and it was a considerable one - was that I stank.

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My life isn't much different than when I worked full time as a journalist.

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