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Stewart O’Nan: “It’s not just dots on a page”

September 24, 2014

Mr. O’Nan, you worked for a long time as an engineer. How far away is that from being a writer?

(Laughs) It’s really not that different. I think engineers look at the world analytically, the way that authors do. Engineers don’t trust in theory, they’re more interested in what really happens in the world. They’re observers. They make theories based on their observations, and I think that’s what writers do. If an engineer observes something that is going a way that they don’t think it’s supposed to go… they let it, because they realize that their theory was wrong.

Do you still fix everything in the household?

Not everything! Certainly not the technology. My wife is better with computers than I am. She’s the alpha.

Now to your books – how do you decide what the subject of your next book will be?

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