A genius author and I have something in common. I’m not quite the hack that I thought I was.

Tom Perrota, author most recently of The Leftovers (which is about to become an HBO series), is a far better writer than me, but it would seem that he and I have something in common. When it comes to choosing the settings of his novels, Perrota tends to choose the locales that he is most familiar.

From a recent Wall Street Journal interview:

It's just laziness. This is what's right in front of me. I've chosen to live there. I've never been the kind of writer who goes off in search of a book.


I have often said that with all the stuff that I have to make up in order to write a novel, why would I spend time inventing a place when there are perfectly good places all around me?

As a result, all three of my novels are set within just a few miles of my home.

Is this laziness? Absolutely. But it turns out that Tom Perrota does this, too, and for essentially the same reason.

I feel like slightly less of a hack today.