Students are always a little shocked, I think, when I tell them I consider eavesdropping (an old-fashioned sort of word that means "listening in") an essential part of my work as a writer. I guess they think I'm snoopy -- which I am!
Well, last night I was reading a wonderful profile of author Anne Tyler in the latest issue of Maclean's Magazine and I was delighted to learn that Tyler, who is one of my writing idols, is an eavesdropper, too. She says, "I love to eavesdrop." Apparently, she especially enjoys conversations between gossiping workmen. Tyler also likes to chat with grocery store workers: "I've been told some pretty amazing things by people." The article also says that when Tyler visits someone's home, she "gravitate[s] to the kitchen," where she examines "pictures plastered to refrigerator doors."
So you see ... writers are, in our way, spies! Here's the link if you want to read the complete interview with Tyler. And here's to good eavesdropping -- and spying!!