No matter how beautifully written or "literary," a novel resonates deeply because the storyline tugs powerfully at us. It upsets, confounds and presents chaos, conflict, imbalance and upheaval -- either within its character's mind or circumstances.
It can all change. The universe is filled with people who were popular at one time, and not at another. You must have a steady sense of yourself and a core of validity, so that as the world changes, you can remain unfazed.
Barry Eisler is the best-selling author of two thriller series, one featuring John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American former soldier turned freelance assassin; and another featuring black ops soldier Ben Treven.