David Bergen

Quote Topics Cited
A mentor, a 'teacher,' is like an editor. I absolutely value my editor, who is my teacher. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
An editor is an accomplice, looking in from the outside. That objective view is essential. We don't write in a vacuum, and we don't publish in a vacuum.
As a writer, I'm always aware of the fact that there are so many books out there.
As a writer, you write the book, you give it to your editor, it's copy edited, it's published, it's thrown out there, and then there's a response.
At the age of twenty, having published nothing and having had little guidance in my reading, I decided that I wanted to write.
Books in general are great, but I'm a fiction lover, and I will continue to do it.
Every year, the Giller jury is different. You write the best book you can and throw it out there.
Failure is essential. Trial and error is necessary. Failure
For me, when I 'discover' a story, there is a feeling of buoyancy and clarity, perhaps similar to early morning out on a prairie highway, when darkness lifts and reveals the outline of farmhouses and copses of trees in the distance. Morning
I always have a book that I use that somehow inspires my novels.
I gave up writing for seven years (very biblical) and picked it up again, still clueless and still seeking the exotic, when I was twenty-one.
I like characters who are contradictory.
I may not have written the stories that I've written if I hadn't ended up in Niverville. I don't know; I don't know. How can you know?
I tend to push whatever is looking over my shoulder away when I am writing. It's once the box of books arrive that I say I'm going to be pilloried for this or that. But then you realize it's done, and there is nothing I can do. I'm proud of the book.
I think a construction project for me is like writing a novel. I can't do the project unless I can envision sort of the whole structure and see what the end result might be.
I think my writing was certainly shaped from having lived in a place like Niverville as well as by the family that I came from, the religion that I had, that type of thing. Religion & God ;Families, Children & Parenting
I usually submit a novel at a certain number of words, and when I've finished working with my editor, the novel is longer than when I submitted it. I need my editor to help me open up the story.
I was a big reader of Zane Grey as a young boy, and so horses and the West figured large in my imagination.
In 1970, at the age of 14, I entered a short story contest offering a grand prize of one dollar. I won. This was my first foray into writing fiction. I loved reading and thought that it shouldn't be so hard to write a story.
In my brief writing life, it means I am still lucky that I have at least one more novel to complete. I do not expect that a story will arrive just because it is time to write another novel. It doesn't happen that way. Life ;Time
Invite characters of surprising and moral character, or at least those who grapple with what is right or those who make decisions that shock.
It took me ten years to write a proper story. I floundered about trying to shape something, counting on the 'feeling' I had as I wrote, only to discover upon rereading my work that the feeling had disappeared, and what remained was an empty shell. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
One day, at my office, I wrote down some names and dates and notes, and I wrote a title, 'The Age of Despair,' and then some other 'Ages' - Innocence, God, Reason, Hope - and I wrote this as well: 'Woman, born in 1930, lives till the age of 80 or so, suffers depression, marries a car dealer, has children who grow up to confuse her.' Hope ;Religion & God
That's the novelist's job: to peel back the layers and look underneath.
The first accepted piece of writing is the most exciting. No other publishing experience matches it. Perhaps jaundice sets in, or expectations are raised, or one starts to think that one is better than is the truth. Truth
The IMPAC is a terribly important award.
The story wrote quickly. I called it 'Where You're From,' and I sent it out, as I had numerous other stories over the years. Except this time I got a letter back saying that it would be published. Someone out there had liked the story. I was thirty-one years old. Time
Though I loved books as a young boy, I loved sports even more. I wanted to be a quarterback in the CFL. Sports & Athletics
What fascinates me as a writer is the stuff underneath, To me, what drives a novel is the curiosity behind the character and the depths that you want to find in that character.
When I get moved to write a story, I don't question the story. I dive right in, and I try to ignore the voices that are chattering away at me: 'You can't do that', 'You shouldn't do that'. I just sort of leap and take a chance and go for it.
You are only as good as your last book, and so there has to be a book.