I write because I have to, because I seem to absorb everything. And everything I absorb seems to have special meaning. So I write it all down.
I love writing. I love to put words together. I love the environment of writing. I even love the difficulty of it.
But what I love the most is the spirit of writing. There is something divine about the process. It is a product of dreams, leaping to life from single human brains. It is driven by overwhelming desires to 'go places', to be someone you are not. To experience times past. And to share these experiences.
Before I start writing, I read as many books on the subject as I can find. I am mainly interested in first-person accounts and look for something written by someone who experienced something of interest at that particular time in history.
While 'researching' for what would become Dance With Wolves I came across a book called Plains Indian Raiders by Wilbur Sturtevant Nye. In it an anecdote told about a wagon driver who had driven out on the frontier to supply an outpost in western Kansas. But when he arrived, he saw that no one was there; the only sign of life was a piece of canvas flapping in the breeze.
That image somehow moved me, and I started thinking about it, filling it in with other images. I asked myself, what if I was on that wagon, and that was going to be my new post, what would happen then?
The seed was planted for Dances With Wolves. I became Lieutenant John Dunbar, and through him I had the experiences that I wanted so much to have.