On Writing

My writing routine

About three in the morning, I wake up with a fabulous idea connected to my book. I toss and turn, and the idea keeps returning, changing sometimes, but persistently wanting some attention. I get up. I jot down the main points and go back to sleep. Later, when I get up, I take the notes from my dreaming state and work them into the story. Some of the ideas are too wild to use; others, however, join the story and enrich it. I never know in advance.

Writing is not my full time job?

Investment banking is my main job, mergers and acquisitions in media and education. Both areas are in major transition and face major needs to change if they are to remain viable. Challenging. I’ve also been Chairman of the American Academy in Rome, which gives the Rome Prize to Americans in many arts and scholarly fields, and it is where some of the action in The Moses Virus takes place; I’m Co-Chair of the Board of Teachers College, Columbia University, the oldest and largest of the nation’s schools of education (perhaps the setting of the next book—which depends Tom Stewart and some other events); and a couple of other not for profit organizations. Travelling is a passion: Egypt, for example, fascinates me. Luxor and the supreme achievements of ancient Egypt, or Rome, or Paris, of Istanbul, and so on. I’ve been to 57 countries—as many as Heinz has varieties.

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