Amor Towles stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers to discuss the television adaptation of his novel A Gentleman in Moscow and his new story collection, Table for Two.

Meyers brought up a story from Towles’ new book, about a young writer “who feels like he doesn’t have any stories to tell” and asked Towles if that was his experience as a young writer.

“It’s not an autobiographical story exactly, but yes,” Towles said. “I grew up in a suburb, so the biggest challenges were shoveling snow, raking leaves, painting the fence.…As a young writer, you’re reading Faulkner or Dostoevsky, and I’m like, Ooh, this isn’t good. I have not had what I need to become a writer. Meanwhile, my parents haven’t even had the courtesy to be alcoholics, because then we would have something to work with.

The limited series version of Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow, starring Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, premiered on Paramount+ in March. The book and series tell the story of a Russian aristocrat sentenced to house arrest in a hotel after the 1917 Bolshevik coup.

Meyers asked Towles if the producers of the series asked him for feedback while the show was being filmed.

Towles recounted receiving drafts of the first two episodes and telling his friend Michael Lewis that he thought they were “just being polite” and didn’t really want his feedback. “There was a pause, and Michael says, ‘Amor, they’re definitely just being polite,’” Towles recounted. “‘And not only do they not want to know what you think, they wish you were dead.’”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.