Titles are important; I have them before I have books that belong to them. I have last chapters in my mind before I see first chapters, too. I usually begin with endings, with a sense of aftermath, of dust settling, of epilogue. I love plot, and how can you plot a novel if you don’t know the ending first? How do you know how to introduce a character if you don’t know how he ends up? You might say I back into a novel. All the important discoveries—at the end of a book—those are the things I have to know before I know where to begin.We're no writer, compared to Mr. Irving, but we know what he means, about knowing the end before you can write the beginning, although we've read that other authors work the opposite, starting a book without knowing the ending, letting the story take them ... wherever. But then we are the kind of people who read the endings of books first (Hello, Deathly Hallows). Kind of like fall, that idea, isn't it: Winter is a shitload of work; fall is the beginning, but we all know where it ends, don't we? We write ourselves into the light of spring, the warmth of summer, although how odd; endings and beginnings get all mixed up. Or maybe that's the wine.