The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy by Leonard S. Marcus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This lovely collection of interviews with 13 well known fantasy authors concentrates mostly on their children's/YA fiction, but it gives lovely little glimpses in the varied world of writers. I only read the interviews with the authors with whom I was familiar -- Lloyd Alexander, Diane Wynn Jones, Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine L'Engle and Terry Pratchett -- and just glanced through the others. The interviews are not extensive or very personalized -- many of the questions are the same for each -- but that just made the comparisons more interesting.
What it really gave me was insight into the varied methods of writing. Some of these authors write daily, for set hours. Others write when moved. Some research, others consider their whole lives research for their writing. Some love to revise, some dread it, some have ambivalent feelings. Many faced difficulties getting published. All seem to love Tolkien. I enjoyed finding these little facts and knowing the authors that touched and formed me (Alexander's Time Cat stands in my memory as my first indication science fiction and fantasy existed).
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