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In Ireland, novels and plays still have a strange force. The writing of fiction and the creation of theatrical images can affect life there more powerfully and stealthily than speeches, or even legislation. Imagined worlds can lodge deeply in the private sphere, dislodging much else, especially when the public sphere is fragile.
My first published novel, 'American Rust,' took three and a half years of full-time work to write. But I wrote two apprentice novels before that.
When you're writing a novel, you spend four years sitting in your basement and a year waiting for the book to come out and then you get the feedback. When you do work online, the moment you're finished making it, people start responding to it which is really fun and allows for a kind of community development you just can't have in novels.
Some say it is the elements of hope and wonder in children's books that make them special. But there are many dark young adult novels these days. Adults loved Harry Potter, though it was written for the young. In the end, it is probably up to the reader of any age to decide if this book is for him or her.
I'm a big fan of a lot of graphic novels - 'Fables,' 'Y: The Last Man' and 'The Walking Dead,' which I like a lot more.
People unacquainted with graphic novels, including journalists, tend to think of 'Watchmen' as a book by Alan Moore that happens to have some illustrations. And that does a disservice to the entire form.
When you're 14, anything with a sword and a dragon is pretty cool. But when you're 21 and you've read 2,000 fantasy novels, you start to realize that some of those books, well, they weren't really good. OK, let's be honest. A lot of them were crap.
People are much more complicated in real life, but my characters are as subtle and nuanced as I can make them. But if you say my characters are too black and white, you've missed the point. Villains are meant to be black-hearted in popular novels. If you say I have a grey-hearted villain, then I've failed.
In seventh grade, with some vague sense that I wanted to be a writer, I crouched in the junior high school library stacks to see where my novels would eventually be filed. It was right after someone named Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. So I grabbed a Vonnegut book, 'Breakfast of Champions' and immediately fell in love.
Hope E. L .James doesn't think I'm being a prankster. I really want to adapt her novels for the screen. Christian Grey is a writer's dream.
Bret Easton Ellis
Teaching does allow me to keep one foot in the youthful waters I tend to occupy in my novels, so I'm thankful for that. My students also remind me on a daily basis that the stories I collected during my district attorney days are actually interesting to people who haven't had that experience.
In February of this year I returned to China to research my next book. The authorities know about the novels of mine that have been published in the west, including the latest one, Beijing Coma, about a student shot in Tiananmen Square, but so far have allowed me to return.
I did not have a chance to write novels until my youngest child started school fulltime.
I was a bit of a delinquent growing up, a very poor student - I nearly failed several grades before dropping out of high school and getting a G.E.D. But I still read a lot. Thrillers and war novels, mostly, along with the occasional literary novel from my parents' bookshelf.
The story of Harold Fry and his unlikely pilgrimage began as an afternoon play for radio. For many years, I have been writing plays and adapting novels for 'Woman's Hour' and the 'Classic' series. So this was originally a three-hander play, broadcast one sunny afternoon on BBC Radio 4.
Teen problem novels? I can go through them like a box of chocolates. And there are fantasy books out now that need a lot more editing. Fantasy got to be so popular that people began to think 'We don't need to be as diligent with the razor blade,' but they do.
I taught elementary school and painted apartments for ten years. Now I write full-time and never have to change a thing I write. Every book comes to me in a flash of inspiration and takes me about two seconds to finish. The longer books, like the 'Time Warp Trio' novels, take a little longer to write - more like four seconds.
My platform has been to reach reluctant readers. And one of the best ways I found to motivate them is to connect them with reading that interests them, to expand the definition of reading to include humor, science fiction/fantasy, nonfiction, graphic novels, wordless books, audio books and comic books.
I really enjoy writing novels. It's like the ocean. You can just build a boat and take off.
I think that I altered history in 'Elizabeth,' and I interpreted history far more than Danny Boyle or Richard Attenborough did to 'Slumdog Millionaire' or 'Gandhi.' They took Indian novels or Indian characters and very much stayed within the Indian diaspora.
I sailed a bit as a child, but it wasn't until I was around 40, when I was halfway through Patrick O'Brian's 'Master and Commander' novels, that I had the sudden epiphany that I had to go sail on a square-rig ship.
I like the idea of making big budget films with a heart. I like graphic novels more than comic books.
The Hollywood movies are more like novels, and the kinds of films I make are more like poems.
And I know I'm supposed to feel guilty for wanting people to buy my books... and books in general? Novels and poetry, they belong to the realm of art. How dirty of us to try to hawk art! But, after a decade of hand-wringing and apologies, I can't quite muster the guilt anymore.
Of all the novels I've written, my favorite is 'Mick Harte Was Here'.
John F. Kennedy
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