To get into Afghanistan, I bribed my way into a camel caravan of smugglers.
I contend, most seriously, that there is a real need for a good, thick, complete-as-possible dictionary of 'What People Used to Call Things.'
I learned to interpret the ancient pictograph codices and read Nahuatl, the Aztec language.
I write novels, mostly historical ones, and I try hard to keep them accurate as to historical facts, milieu and flavor.
When I got back to Madison Avenue, I realized that copywriters made more than artists, so I switched.
When I was living in Mexico and writing a book called 'Aztec,' I had to make a deliberate effort to ignore a lot of the 'typically Mexican landscape' around me - banana and citrus groves, roses and carnations, burros and toros - because they did not exist in Mexico in the 15th century, the time of my book.