German publisher Luzifer Verlag conducted an interview with Robert McCammon to promote the release of their German translation of Speaks the Nightbird (book one). You can read the German translation of the interview on their website here. The English version appears below.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a home office, so that’s where I do all my work. The only time I ever tried to work anywhere else—at the beach on vacation—I didn’t like what I wrote and wound up throwing all the material away. About 70 pages, as I recall.
What is your favorite book and why did it fascinate you?
My favorite book of one that I’ve written? The Five would be my favorite, simply because I like music so much and am interested in the lives and inspirations of musicians. Other favorite books by other writers would be The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Both of those books are so well-written and both create such enthralling atmospheres…both of them pull you so completely into the story, though I have to be honest and say that my first try at reading Jonathan Strange didn’t go so well because it’s so very dense and detailed…but I can go back and re-read that book and always find something there that I’ve previously missed.
Do you need a special atmosphere to write?
No, I don’t. Though I do require the familiarity and comfort of my office, with all my research materials at hand.
Where do you find your inspiration for your stories?
Everywhere. Honestly. Ideas are everywhere. They may not flesh out to become books, but at least they merit thought and you can take them in your mind as far as they can go and decide whether the idea is worthy of a book or not.
Do you have special preferences or strange obsessions for something?
Coffee, very dark and very strong, while writing.
Do you have some advertisement for your (german) readers?
Yes…I hope that even with the physical distance between my homeland and yours that what I’m writing and expressing are universal ideas that connect with your readers, hopefully proving that though individual countries have borders there are no borders on the human condition, the human spirit or the human need for communication and understanding.
What do you need for a good day?
A feeling of accomplishment. That doesn’t have to be a set number of pages or words…but I know that a good day will leave me feeling that I have advanced the story and moved the characters along in a positive way…there’s really no better feeling in the world for a writer than that feeling of accomplishment, of knowing you are moving a little further and further along the road you’ve set out for yourself (and your character, and the readers as well) to travel.