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 INTERVIEW 

Jonathan Stroud

El Templo #6 (octubre 2008) por Uyulala y Sandman


We have learned that you were working in literature for young readers before becoming an author. Could you tell us about your experience in that field? Were you editor, corrector? Was it useful for your later career as an author?

I was an editor of children's books for about 10 years before I became a full-time author. I didn't work on fiction, but on other things such as puzzle-books (which were really popular in the 1990s) and non-fiction. I edited, for example, a Children's Bible, and books on Evolution and the Human Body - quite different from what I write now! It was very useful, though, because I slowly learned how to edit myself - how to recognise when things I write aren't quite working. Also, my work on historical subjects helped with Bartimaeus (his name, for example, comes from the Bible!)

Which are your literary influences?

Hmm, that is a hard question.... there are so many writers and creators that have influenced me. I studied Literature at university, so I was exposed to lots of great works. Some of the writers that I admire are: PG Wodehouse (delightful style and humour), Dashiell Hammett (economy and unsentimentality), Evelyn Waugh (precise, elegant style), Robert Louis Stevenson (his mix of adventure with 'high' literature)... But as well as this, I also enjoyed comics as a child (such as the Asterix books), and a lot of their cartoon energy reappear in the Bartimaeus books.

Before the Bartimaeus trilogy, for which you are known in Spain, you wrote three novels (Buried Fire, The Leap y The last Siege) that have not been published in Spanish yet. Could you tell us something about them? Do you know if they are going to be published soon in Spanish?

Buried Fire, my first novel, is a fantasy about an evil dragon trapped and buried under the ground near a sleepy English village. It tries to escape by taking control of local people, and some children have to fight to destroy it. The Leap is a psychological fantasy about a girl whose best friend is supposed to have drowned - but she sees him every night in her dreams, and believes she can rescue him. The Last Siege is not a fantasy at all; it's about three children who break into an old ruined castle one midwinter, and take it over - their adventure starts happily, but becomes darker the longer they stay there. I hope they will be published in Spain one day, but there are no plans to translate them yet.

Buried Fire has been released in German and has had a big success. Congratulations! We know that you are going to visit Germany in a tour to meet your fans there. Do you plan to visit anyother country? Maybe Spain?

I came to Madrid a few years ago to help publicise Bartimaeus, but it was a short visit, and I would love to come on a proper Spanish tour to meet my fans around the country. Perhaps I will have a chance with Heroes of the Valley! I will let you know on my website, of course... [www.jonathanstroud.com]

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