Quentin Tarantino stopped by Seth Meyers’ late night show to discuss his new book, Cinema Speculation.

Tarantino’s nonfiction debut, published earlier this month by Harper, is a collection of essays about movies that influenced him as a filmmaker. A critic for Kirkus gave it a starred review, calling it “a top-flight nonfiction debut from a unique artist.”

Meyers asked Tarantino about combining film criticism and history in the book.

“That was actually one of the fun things about writing the book,” Tarantino said. “It was a thing that made it similar to me writing fiction. With fiction, I have a really good idea about where I’m going to go…but at some point, I want the characters to take it from me and start writing some of the stuff itself, so I’m actually almost dictating it. And to some degree, when I got into my own arguments with myself on the page, that started happening.”

“As you write film criticism, what is your relationship to the way people write about your films?” Meyers asked Tarantino.

“I really know my [movies] really well,” Tarantino said. “I’ve had movies where I’ve had fans that give good reviews [to] my movies, and they don’t like this one.…It’s less of a situation of, ‘They’re going to tell me something about myself I don’t know.’ That can happen, and that has happened. But it’s more, ‘This is the conversation that’s happening about the movie.’ And that’s kind of important, because there really only is a conversation about the movie when it comes out.”

Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.