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Alice Hoffman: She Needs a Laptop ... and Time

Alice Hoffman is the author of 16 novels, most recentlySkylight Confessions(coming in January '07); two collections of stories and several books for children and teens. Her novels have been named notable books of the year byThe New York Times,Entertainment WeeklyandLibrary Journal.

How She Writes: "I used to get up at five and work for several hours before I went to work, or before my kids woke up. Now I write wherever, whenever. I don't need an office anymore, or space, or a window. Just my laptop and time."

Writer's Block Remedies: "I didn't believe in writers' block until I had it. I worked on exercises -- outlines, words, character studies, then moved to stories, then the stories became linked stories, then a novel. Again, when I had writer's block after Sept. 11, I read some of my favorite books from childhood, and they reminded me why I wanted to write in the first place."

A Favorite Sentence: "The great sentence I'm going to write is my next one in my next piece of fiction. That's what keeps me writing. If I felt I'd already done it, I might not be so driven to continue to search for that one great sentence. If I had to pick one, I suppose it would be the last line of Practical Magic: 'Fall in love whenever you can.' "

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