Everyone assumes that novelists are smarter and more interesting. They're generally smarter and more interesting, but they're often very short. So it kind of cancels all the smart and interesting stuff out.
It was really overwhelming to see the way that people responded - the kind of class and grace, and compassion and support, and resourcefulness that people showed. It was almost like rather than knocking us down, Sept. 11 kind of stepped us up. I was very impressed with that. It showed me that there's really nothing we can't handle.
I really liked the idea of delivering an American character who defied some of the cultural cliches we have been exporting to the rest of the world. A character who was awkward, vulnerable, young, innocent, neurotic, somewhat alien,