El Gato Templario

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Descubre al #escritor que llevas dentro Christopher EdgeMás allá del mar de las Tinieblas Antonio ÁlamoPaper Girls Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt WilsonEl secreto de Emmaline Megan ShepherdColor verde ladrón (La pandilla de la Lupa I) Patricia García-RojoEl actor Lucas Bilbo Àngel Burgas
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 INTERVIEW 

Diana Wynne Jones

El Templo #7 (diciembre 2008) por Uyulala y Sandman


Last year you were awarded the 2007 World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Congratulations! What would you emphasize of your long and outstanding career?

Thanks for your congratulations. The truth is that I am very unhappy when I am not writing a book, so I keep doing it. At first it was very difficult to get anything published, but I kept grinding away for ten years, until somebody introduced me to my agent, Laura Cecil. She has handled my books ever since, and very good she is! She is particularly good when I get angry with publishers, because she calms everyone down. My British publishers used to want a lot of changes for no reason at all, which always annoyed me, while my American publishers are still liable to insist that certain things do not exist and should therefore not be in whatever book we are dealing with. This seems odd when the book is fantasy. Two years ago they made the astonishing assertion that there were no such things as Post Offices in America. I asked every American I met about this and the American first said 'What!' and then, 'Where are these people?' I said 'New York,' at which the American always said, 'That explains it. New Yorkers live in a world of their own. Of course we have Post Offices.' And Laura, as usual, calmed everyone down by explaining that my book was set in an alternate world which was not like New York at all.

Here in Spain, few people know that you have been writting fantasy books for more than thirty years. As an experienced author, what do you think about the latest changes in this field? Do you think there is now an excess of fantasy?

Odd, this. Just last night an earnest person asked me about changes in fantasy: did they reflect changes in society? I suppose they do, but in fact fantasy has been changing throughout my writing career and will certainly go on changing. One would not wish it to be always the same. The good thing to come out of the latest changes is that fantasy of all kinds has now become respectable and people are not ashamed to read it (as they were when I first started writing). You now get fantasy for every type of person - there can never be too much of it. It is good for people. It reflects how human minds work.

What kind of books do you read? Do you read other fantasy authors currently? Who are they, and what do you think about them? Any recommendations to Spanish young readers?

I read other fantasies. I get bored by books that are supposed to be realistic: they open no horizons. I would recommend Neil Gaiman, Pat Wrede and Lois McMaster Bujold from the older generation of writers and Jonathan Stroud, Mary Hoffman and Sarah Prineas from the latest wave. Try all these.

Your work is very original in the contemporary fantasy. Which are your influences? Which authors were your favourites when you were a teenager?

My books probably owe their character to the fact that I had almost no books -and therefore almost no influences - as a teenager. My parents disapproved of fantasy and were, besides, too stingy to buy books. I had no money to buy books myself. Until I was 15, I was given exactly 1p a week as pocket money. Then my sisters rebelled and demanded more, and we were given 6p a week on condition that we bought our own soap, shampoo and toothpaste (6p didn't buy any of these either). So my reading was mostly in old books: tales of King Arthur, myths of ancient Greece and Rome and Norse sagas. My mother owned also all the books of Jane Austen, which she forbade us to read until we were older. At 16, I sneaked them off the bookshelf and read them all. They were a profound influence. But I also read Joseph Conrad(which I regarded as adventure stories) and Captain Marryatt and the short stories of Saki, not to speak of P.G.Wodehouse, which were all on my parents' shelves. After that there was nothing left but poetry, and when I read all that I started writing stuff myself to read aloud to my sisters, who were quite as book-hungry as I was.

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