I really believe there is something in the nature of a democracy that naturally leads people to distrust the government, to assume because a democracy is built by people just like themselves that there must be secret plots and cover-ups and wizards behind the scenes running the machine.

Christopher Bollen

I like to be alone, I mean, I really love to be alone more than anything else, and I don't really like to talk about myself to death, and I don't like to share too much, and I don't really have dreams of extreme fame or even extreme respect.

Christopher Bollen

Both my parents were big readers. My dad liked more macho adventure books like Shogun or spy novels. My mother reads murder mysteries. In fact, so does her mother, my grandma.

Christopher Bollen

If you've been in the art world for more than eight years, you realize another generation is making the exact same work as the previous generation - but treating it like it's never been done before. It becomes very cyclical very quickly.

Christopher Bollen

I just think, as writers, especially with a book that takes years to write, you sort of wake up every morning hoping and praying that you can make it work for the day.

Christopher Bollen

It's always fun to welcome new people into your life. When dating anyone or becoming friends with anyone who has a different profession, a different life, it opens doors. All my friends here do such different creative things. It's so awesome.

Christopher Bollen

There are certain moments where artwork might seem like it's part of someone's career - if you really know the art world - , but I did my best to prevent that overlap.

Christopher Bollen

I like change. I've never really had much consistency in my life, you know, from everyday work to my living situation to whether or not I'm going to be in L.A. The one constant thing in my life is my friends and family, which is all I need

Christopher Bollen

I would stay at my grandma's house on my birthday every year and I remember she had a bookshelf of murder mystery books along with really frightening books, like one on Jack the Ripper. She also had a poster of a shark in the closet which also terrified me at the time.

Christopher Bollen

There’s a great scene in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [1974] that I’m obsessed with: Sally is being chased by Leatherface with a chainsaw... And she runs into thorn bushes. And she’s getting tangled up in it because she’s running fast... But Sally needs to move slowly in order to get through the bushes - she will get farther faster by going slowly because her hair and clothes won’t get tangled and caught. There’s something really beautiful about understanding that, while someone’s chasing you with a chainsaw, you have to move more slowly in order to get away.

Christopher Bollen

There's a structure to a detective story that I can easily understand. I understand playing that particular game. It's like solving a puzzle. Or creating a puzzle.

Christopher Bollen

You sit at a fashion show in another country and you watch all of these paparazzi swarm around a celebrity, only they're a local celebrity, maybe a soap opera star, so you don't have any idea who they are, you just know they're famous to a bunch of stunned Italians. It's weird, because when you can't identify who a celebrity is, they can just look like overslicked stand-ins. That might sound awful, but what I mean is, when you think about most actresses, even in Hollywood, they really aren't that fascinating or glamorous in their own right once you strip away the flashbulbs.

Christopher Bollen

You find when you're writing a detective story that you're actually not trying to solve anything. You're trying to stop the reader from solving the puzzle.

Christopher Bollen

The Greeks really believed in history. They believed that the past had consequences and that you might be punished for the sins of your father. America, and particularly New York, runs on the idea that history doesn't matter. There is no history. There is only the never-ending present. You don't even have your family because you moved here to get away from them, so even that idea of personal history has been cut at the knees.

Christopher Bollen

It is a little out of touch to presume that someone wants to follow your every observation and insight over the course of hundreds of pages without any sort of payoff. That's why writing isn't a one-way street. You have to give something back: an interesting plot, a surprise, a laugh, a moment of tenderness, a mystery for the reader to piece together.

Christopher Bollen

I'm ultimately not so much of a professor as a progresser. And I'm ready to move away from what I consider to be this weird mid-century dream that I feel pulls us as a country, and us as a culture, backward.

Christopher Bollen