Harlan Ellison

•December 21, 2007 • 5 Comments

“Preparatory note on process: How it happens, where it comes from, why it speaks in that particular tongue, always the same damned unanswerable question. But they never give it a rest, the endless interrogation. Their cadre is never depleted. We sit under the broiling lights turned into our eyes, and they ask and ask, always the same damned question, and we plead ignorance; and when one of their number tires, she or he is replaced by another. And the question is asked again and again, without change, without compassion. We would tell if we knew, honestly we would. We would give up every secret possess, if only they would turn off the lights for fifteen minutes, let us curl onto the cold stone floor and catch forty winks. We would tell all, divulge every tiny code number and Mercator track, drop the dime on even the dearest and closest friend or lover, spill the beans, tell the tale, five it all up if only they’d knock off for fifteen minutes, let it go dark, let us sleep. Continue reading ‘Harlan Ellison’

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Lemony Snicket

•December 14, 2007 • 1 Comment

“From eavesdropping and from reading other books.

“Writers are, pretty much thieves, stealing ideas from other people who didn’t have the foresight to write them down, and then from the people who did have the foresight to write them down.”

– Lemony Snicket
(from a CBBC interview, 2006)

It’s not known whether it’s the Lemony Snicket personae that answered or the author (real name: Daniel Handler).

Snicket, of course, wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events, chronicling the exploits of the Baudelaire children and despite the author’s warnings never to read these woeful pages, we go against caution and share in the grief, and brief joy, of the Baudelaires.

Since the end of The End, Snicket has released another book, this time a holiday fare, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story.

Lemony Snicket is still at large.

Philip Pullman

•November 30, 2007 • Leave a Comment


“This is the question that every author gets asked, and none of us know, so we all have to make up something that sounds as if it’s helpful. People are genuinely interested, I know, and it isn’t polite to be facetious about it. For one thing, people don’t always know you’re making a joke. I once said in answer to this that I subscribed to Ideas ‘R’ Us, and someone wrote in and asked for the address.

But what interests me is why people ask. I can’t believe that everyone isn’t having ideas all the time. I think they are, actually, and they just don’t recognise them as potential stories. Because the important thing is not just having the idea; it’s writing the book. That’s the difficult thing, the thing that takes the time and the energy and the discipline. The initial is much less important, actually, than what you do with it.”

– Philip Pullman
(from the author’s FAQ)

Conservative British columnist, Peter Hitchens, wrote that Philip Pullman is, whom “atheists prayed for, if atheists prayed.”

But look beyond the controversies, the hullabaloo and read His Dark Material Trilogy and you can see the value in its words as Pullman weaved worlds where children seek to be free of their authoritative stranglehold.

Some see his books as the antithesis to C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, while others see it as interesting reading.

The film version of Pullman’s first book of the trilogy, The Golden Compass was released.

Ray Bradbury

•November 23, 2007 • 1 Comment

– Ray Bradbury
(from the intro to The Ray Bradbury Theater)

Ray Bradbury is an example of American creativity. He has written over 500 works, many that are read and reread by millions. Age and a stroke could not slow the Master down as he continues to pen new worlds that will be long remembered in the minds of his dreaming fans.

Eoin Colfer

•November 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment

“I get my ideas from everywhere and anywhere – from life in general. But I get most of my ideas from my family, my four friends who are very interesting. So anytime they say something funny I just write it down.”

– Eoin Colfer
(from a CBBC interview, 2003)

Eoin Colfer has been writing for a while but he only received recognition with Artemis Fowl, a fantasy novel that the author described as “Die Hard with fairies.”

The Artemis Fowl series have crossed into the graphic novel genre with the aptly titled Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel.

Will Christopher Baer

•November 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

“They pretty much seep to the surface, whether I want them to or not.”

– Will Christopher Baer
(from the author’s FAQ)

Kiss Me, Judas was the first of Baer’s books I’ve read and after I turned the last page over, I walked away, not fully comprehending what I’ve just read and that’s okay. Baer’s work isn’t meant to be understood at first reading. It’s the re-reading and then comprehension dawns, like sunlight creeping in at minute intervals.

Phineas Poe, the (anti)hero of Judas would continue for two more novels – Penny Dreadful and Hell’s Half Acre.

Stephen King

•November 2, 2007 • 3 Comments

“I get my ideas from everywhere. But what all of my ideas boil down to is seeing maybe one thing, but in a lot of cases it’s seeing two things and having them come together in some new and interesting way, and then adding the question ‘What if?’ ‘What if’ is always the key question.”

– Stephen King
(from the author’s FAQ)

This was one of the many answers to “where do you get your ideas?” My personal favorite is “a small, bloodthirsty elf who lives in a hole under my desk” from On Writing.

Everything said about King has been said already, nothing that I would write would add or take away from the man. What I know is he has been asked the ‘idea question’ so many times, I’m surprised he hasn’t stabbed a fan in the eye.