The curse of all successful writers is the dream of all Americans: owning a house. Houses have ruined a lot of literary artists, more so than drugs or drink. Jack London built himself a palace and then committed suicide. Mark Twain almost went bust maintaining his Connecticut digs. …If I had one piece of advice to give to aspirant writers it would be: Don’t—don’t, don’t, don’t—under any circumstances buy a house you could not afford if you were a plumber’s assistant. Or, as a veteran Hollywood agent told me not long ago: Put your money in the bank; if you buy anything, pay cash, and if you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it.