"I never much liked the book, and when I was done I was in a bad way. I wanted to burn the book. I'd wake up in the night and I'd hear Hemingway's voice -- I've never actually heard Hemingway's voice, but it was conspicuously his -- saying, 'This is the small agony. The great agony comes later.' I'd get up and sit on the edge of the bathtub, chain-smoking until three or four in the morning. I once swore to the dark powers outside the window that I would never, never again try to be better than Irving Wallace."