My publisher asked me to fill out a questionnaire to help their publicists promote my next book. This was the only question I had fun answering:
Q. PLEASE DISCUSS SEVERAL ARTISTS (NON-WRITERS) WHO YOU FEEL HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR OWN WORK, AND HOW THEY HAVE DONE SO.
From photographer Walker Evans I learned about framing.
From punk poet Patti Smith I learned the importance of being earnest.
From Marvin Gaye I learned that anger can be beautiful.
From composer Tarik O’Regan I learned the shape of grace.
From photographer Roy Decarava I learned the elegance of contrast.
From jazz singer Patty Waters I learned the power of phrasing.
From basketball player Allen Iverson I learned how to weave.
From photographer Dorothea Lange I learned the angles.
From photographer Sally Mann I learned about the roots.
From singer Paul Robeson I learned the depths.
From comic book artist Alex Maleev I learned that texture can be tragic.
From photographer William Eggleston I learned that color bleeds.
From Tina Turner I learned what's shaking.
From TV creator Joss Whedon I learned that art is pulp.
From actress Emily Watson I learned that innocence is death.
From photographer Helen Levitt I learned that everything is code.
From country duo the Louvin Brothers I learned that Satan is real.
From Bruce Springsteen I learned that everything that dies someday comes back.