Despite his intense dislike of personal publicity, John Steinbeck consented to an interview with Ella Winter following the success of Tortilla Flat
on the condition that he be judged by his work rather than his personality.
Some time later, he sharply rebuked her for having failed to respect his wishes. "What did I say that was so personal?" Winter asked. "You mentioned," Steinbeck replied, "that I had blue eyes."