Once Artemis saved the world though, Colfer insists it was the right point to end the series.
“I got to a point where I thought, ‘I’ve really done this to death now’. I can either continue with him as a good character or finish him now. Artemis just can’t be a good guy.
“Also, I’m a grown man and I’ve been working with leprechauns for 15 years. It’s time to move on to something more mature like imaginary friends,” he says, chuckling.
from a piece written to celebrate the re-opening (aftger refurbishment) of Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books:
I never expected to become a children’s author. I was a grown-up educated adult and I thought my purpose was to write books for intelligent educated adults. But I’d been ambushed by a story called Skellig and my life and work had taken a totally unexpected direction. I found myself in a world where people really do believe that books and art can change people’s lives, that they can help to create a better world. I found young readers who, despite all the myths and mistruths, are active citizens, who really do read avidly and creatively, who are able to be both hilarious and deeply serious, barmy and profound. I found myself in a community of astonishingly talented and hardworking authors and illustrators. I found a literary home.
Mal Peet’s first novel for adults gets a ‘rave review’ in The Guardian
Not many novels about novelists are as acute or as entertaining as this: a genuinely funny comedy that takes the piss – out of Devon, the writer’s lot, the whole fantasy genre – with a Pratchettian mix of gusto and warmth. The latter quality is particularly helpful in the literary satire, which skewers the tropes of an entire genre while managing to keep the phantastic storyline going as a valid part of the plot.
Peet’s prose also boasts a Pratchettian vigour and invention, most obviously in the exotic “gremes” and “porlocs” of the Realm but also in the diurnal comedy of the real world. This may be Mal Peet’s first book for grownups, but it is an assured, even virtuoso, performance fully deserving that most prestigious of accolades – a rave review in the Guardian.
Marcus Sedgwick: where I write [photograph by the author]
Marcus Sedgwick talks about the writing of his new book The Ghosts of Heaven, using his own photographs to illustrate the different elements in the novel.
Philip Ardagh has been announced as the new Booktrust Writer In Residence, taking over from Chris Riddell.
We are delighted to share that Philip Ardagh is our new Booktrust Writer in Residence. Standing more than two metres tall with a big, bushy beard, the unmissable children’s author (in more ways than one) begins his six month residency. Readers can expect a post from him every Monday – you’ll never know what you’re going to get!
Mr Ardagh, winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2009 with Grubtown Tales: Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky (with illustrator Jim Paillot) and author of the award-winning Eddie Dickens Trilogy, has written over sixty books for all ages. He even collaborated with Sir Paul McCartney on the ex-Beatle’s only children’s book to date.
On his appointment as Booktrust’s online Writer in Residence, Ardagh said:
‘I was delighted to be asked because I’m a huge admirer of the work Booktrust do to promote reading. I’m also delighted to have the opportunity to inflict my thoughts on anything and everything – including books and beards – on an unsuspecting public.’
Agnes Chambre interviews Michael Morpurgo for York Vision:
Michael’s advice for budding writers is therefore unsurprising given his philosophy for writing based on living and experiencing. In a similar vein to all his words, these reflect a beautiful simplicity.
“Don’t be in a hurry. Read, read, read; listen; keep your ears open, your eyes open, and above all your heart open, so that your antennae are out the whole time. Go places; meet people; listen to people, and then I think write a few lines every day, not a diary, not a journal, but just two or three lines every day to remind you why that day was different. It can be some little quip you heard on a bus, or some desperately sad thing that’s going on in your life, or somebody else’s life. I was looking across the river this morning and I saw the cows lying down and the mist around them. You can paint those moments in words; it’s what you’ve got.”
After all these books and all these experiences, I asked the author what his proudest moment is. “Its funny, pride is such a strange word, it’s not really what I…” Michael paused. “I have an enormous satisfaction in the smallest thing, the smallest thing being communicating stories that I love to other people and feeling at the end that they love it too. We have an intimacy of communication, which is emotional, it’s intellectual, it’s the best thing that human beings can do with and for each other. If I’m ever really proud, it’s when I believe that has worked. It may not happen, but when it does…” And his voice trailed off again; and it seemed as though that that magic of connection was entirely possible.
Boel Westin, professor of literature at the University of Stockholm, has written an affectionate biography. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the Moomin world and knew Jansson. In the book, Westin compares her to Shakespeare, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, even "Chekov spiced with Poe". Actually, Jansson needs no such comparisons: that she wrote well is self-evident from the enduring popularity of her surreal and prankish tales.
The best of the obituaries on this unique literary figure, as it includes embedded audio and video interviews.
Those who only know Wilson as the writer of The Outsider should check out the complete list of his works:
Colin Wilson once observed: “I consider my life work that of a philosopher, and my purpose to create a new and optimistic existentialism.”
Morris Gleitzman Interview
from the Kill Your Darlings blog
When I talk to adults about children…the adults often make the mistake of assuming that because children are physically smaller, that everything that goes on in their inner worlds is conventionally smaller. And of course, those who remember being 7 or 9 or 12, remember that our feelings and our hopes and dreams and thoughts are as huge at that age as they are at any stage later in life.’