The Moment I Realized I Was Not Going To Write The Great American Novel: I always thought that when I did finally get serious about writing, I would write, well, serious stuff. After all, it’s not like I’d spent my entire life reading Judith Krantz; or at least not just Judith Krantz. In fact, I’d always been an eclectic reader and I’d knocked back most of Shakespeare’s works before sitting down to write my own. During my bookseller days, my manager had to regularly remind me that while my reading time was technically my own, I couldn’t exactly hand-sell Roderick Hudson by Henry James to our NYTBR-toting clientele. I did manage to hand-sell quite a few copies of The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James, however – a small victory for me. My favorite novel by a dead author: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My favorite novel by a living author: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. So, I had the lit cred. Still, when I did finally sit down to write my first novel, the voice that came out was funny, the smart-alecky first-person voice of Mini Monroe, a salesclerk in an independent bookstore who thinks the world would be a better place, certainly the bookstore would, if only she were in charge of everything. The book wound up being a comedic mystery called Waiting for Dead Men’s Shoes. So, not the Great American Novel. Maybe not the Least-Great American Novel, but definitely not the Great. Ah, well.