I get letters from two kinds of readers. History buffs, who love to read history and biography for fun, and then kids who want to be writers but who rarely come out and say so in their letters. You can tell by the questions they ask - How did you get your ﬁrst book published? How long do you spend on a book? So I guess those are the readers that I'm writing for - kids who enjoy that kind of book, because they're interested in history, in other people's lives, in what has happened in the world. I believe that they're the ones who are going to be the movers and shakers.
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV. Except when they don't Because, sometimes they won't. I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.
I'd known the people at Rolling Stone for a while. I'd gone to them with a piece I'd done on Beirut for Vanity Fair that Vanity Fair didn't want to publish, because they said I was making fun of death. . . This was Tina Brown. But they paid me for it. So I've got this big chunk of a piece, and Rolling Stone liked it, but they thought it was a little dated. But then they called me back and asked me to do a similar piece about the Turks and Caicos Islands, where the whole government had been arrested for dope smuggling. That was fun.