"The jumping off point was in 1991. Two guys came up and put guns in our faces—myself and my then-wife—and said, 'We'll take the car.' And I said, 'Absolutely.' And gave it to them and they took off. Now, writers, we don't respond to instincts like human beings do. I couldn't stop thinking about these two kids over the years. So I responded with curiosity, and once a year I'd think about these two kids: Had they been best friends since they were young? Or did they just meet that evening? Did they think of themselves as criminals?
"So I was really curious about them and then 10 years later, after 9/11, I woke up at 2 in the morning thinking about them. And I got really angry. I didn't know why I was thinking about them and didn't want to think about them. But I started writing about them ... and from there I was always curious about how we affect strangers. [For instance,] we're driving down the street and you cut me off and I yell at you and you flip me the finger and I go right and you go left. What happens to you? I never see you again. So do you go home and you get in a fight with your husband or something because of what happened? Or do you stop and save someone's life and I never know about it. ... That intrigued me. I said, 'I'm going to keep following these characters as they careen into each other's lives.'"