How do you come up with your ideas?

Just like you do: we talk, read, dream, go to the movies, listen to the radio, hang out with our friends, and then wait for stuff to pop into our heads. We keep a file of possible subjects for stories in our computer, and once in a while dig through them and see if anything sparks our interest. If it does, look out!

Do you write together?

Usually, yes. Monte sits at the computer and Claire stands or paces (she gets restless), and we talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Each of us has "veto power" over the other, which means that nothing goes on the page until we both like it. Sometimes this takes a while, but in the long run it saves time.

What's your favorite book?

Monte: "Exploits of Moominpappa," by Tove Jansson

Claire: "The Full Catastrophe," by David Carkeet

. . . movie?

Claire: James L. Brooks' "Broadcast News"

Monte: Cameron Crowe's "Jerry Maguire"

. . . band?

Monte: Tower of Power

Claire: Glen Miller Orchestra

. . . color?

Claire: Periwinkle

Monte: Clear

. . . quote?

Monte: "I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away." (Oscar Levant)

Claire: "Experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other." (Benjamin Franklin)

What's your most unusual talent?

Monte: Jumping into his underwear.

Claire: Remembering where she bought every article of clothing she owns and when she last wore it.

What accomplishment are you proudest of?

Claire: Performing at a gala for President Clinton.

Monte: Being a contestant on "Jeopardy." (He lost.)

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