3:AM: What are your earliest and most formative memories of stories?

Schwartz: Well, I have no recollection at all, for instance, of the bedtime story, though I’d like to think there was such a thing, at least on occasion, and I can picture, without difficulty, precisely where a parent would have sat in relation to my bed, the angle of light, some of the accoutrements of the room, and so on. I’m not sure they were stories, exactly, but I liked Richard Scarry’s books, I know that, and I suppose this was fairly early—all those collections of animals costumed as humans, moving through a town.

3:AM: When did your writing-inclined side begin to take shape?

Schwartz: High school. I had in mind a very long espionage novel, filled with ludicrous complications, and I managed to stack quite a lot of paper, and to scatter still more around the room. It was a terrific assemblage of garbage. I prepared elaborate charts—as appendices, I guess—to document the plot, every deformity of the story. All the possibilities, as I saw them.

Read the whole interview at 3:AM Magazine.