Prolific author Harlan Coben says the best writers are filled with self-hatred

Number one New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben doesn’t wait for inspiration. He doesn’t need any. Coben joined “Salon Talks” to discuss his new thriller "Run Away," which follows a father’s journey to find his long-lost daughter as he sifts through a dark, crime-filled world.

When SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams asked Coben about his process, Coben said he treats it like a job. “The plumber can't say ‘today I'm too important to do pipes, I can't do pipes today,” Coben explained.

But, it’s not as easy. Coben added that his writing process is painful and full of self-hatred. “A lot of days I don't like myself so much. I don't feel good about myself unless I'm producing something. I let myself feel that.”

And after 31 novels, Coben knows when to push himself. There is often an inner voice telling him that his work is bad. He explained, “I'm insecure. I'll be with this book and I’ll be going ‘oh my God, this book stinks I was so good before.’ And five minutes later, ‘this book is genius.’ If you think most successful or best-selling writers don't have that, you're pretty wrong.”

Watch the video above to learn more about Coben’s writing process. And check out the full episode to hear why Coben is taking an executive producer role in adapting many of his novels for television and film, including a upcoming series for Netflix.

About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on

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