The time when I was at Iowa was a time when I became serious about writing — as my life. Before that, as you probably know, I was pretty much of a degenerate, writing sporadically, and listening to a lot of bad habits and so on in New York. I’d never been west of New Jersey at that point, and I kind of grew up, because now I knew what I wanted to do, and I pursued it vigorously. I’m very proud of the fact that I made a perfect 4.0 in all of my graduate work, that I was a good student. Prior to that — I’d been in school since I was four years old, and I didn’t want to do it, you know? It was like punishment to go to undergraduate school. So in that way, yeah, it started a whole new phase of my life. Iowa bailed me out, really.
Interview, T.C. Boyle, 1998: http://www.tcboyle.net/scott.html