Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus

The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus (Candlewick, 2006)(excerpt featuring Philip Pullman)(audio reading). Features in-depth interviews with thirteen acclaimed fantasy authors: Lloyd Alexander; Franny Billingsley (author interview); Susan Cooper; Nancy Farmer; Brian Jacques; Diana Wynne Jones; Ursula K. Le Guin; Madeleine L'Engle; Garth Nix; Tamora Pierce; Terry Pratchett; Philip Pullman; and Jane Yolen. Includes author photos, including childhood photos, copies of marked manuscripts, etc. Ages 12-up.

My Thoughts

A gorgeously designed and crafted book.

I wouldn't be surprised if most readers, as I did, turn first to their favorite authors and then take the opportunity to learn more about the rest. In my case, I turned first to Franny Billingsley and Jane Yolen.

I took particular note of Jane's comment that "We know ourselves by the stories we tell about ourselves. If you can't remember the stories, then who are you?"

I also was struck by Franny's declaration that "...I might live a life of words." I love that--"a life of words." The next time I'm feeling overwhelmed by my writing and writing life, I'll remind myself that not only do I have a life, I have a life of words.

By the way, Brian Jacques has beautiful handwriting.

Recommended to fantasy readers and writers; makes a lovely gift.

Cynsational Notes

Franny Billingsley's next release will be her picture book debut, Big Bad Bunny, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Atheneum/Richard Jackson, 2008).

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