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Who's in the Video

Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott is a journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Sin in the Second City, an exploration of the role of brothels in the cultural and political[…]

With non-fiction writing, there’s always something to write.

You know I think . . . You know I hit it a lot. The fortunate thing when you’re doing non-fiction and researching history is there is always work to be done even if you’re not getting words on the page. You know I spent hours and hours in front of microfilm and just thinking about these people. Sort of even if, you know, you weren’t constructing the story at that time, they were always in your head or you were thinking about what they were going to do next. Or you were . . . You were connecting dots with a character. Or you were able to discover an incident that you didn’t know had; or a great quote that you hadn’t seen before. So if you didn’t feel like . . . If I didn’t feel like writing I could still get some work done, which was a good way to trick my mind into thinking I was still okay with my deadline.

Recorded On: 1/22/08