R: Well, I mean I guess the best advice I can give has to do with perseverance. You know, my writing career did not begin easily. I graduated from college in 1968. The first time I really had any success as a writer was "Midnight's Children," which was in 1981. So there was like 12 years of paying my dues. Some writers are lucky that they get there right away with their first book, like Joe Heller with "Catch-22" or whatever. But one of the things that I found was essential to the business of becoming a writer was to have that determination and perseverance to keep trying in the face of failure and without any guarantee of success. And if I look back at my young self, battling away for a dozen years, I'm very proud of that. And I'm not sure now, if somebody asked me would I start work in some field where it would take you 12 years without any guarantee at the end of it that you would be any good at it, I mean I would not do that.
W: You'd be crazy to do it.
R: You'd be crazy to do it. But I think writers, when starting out, are crazy in exactly that way (laughs).