Where did the idea of this story come from?
I couldn’t tell you. One day at a café in Columbus, Ohio, I just started typing a bunch of sentences about a king’s messenger. I was just riffing, really, which is how a story usually begins for me. Often I come up with the title first, or else I write a first sentence and go on from there to the second sentence, and so on. You can eventually write a million sentences by this method.