New DWJ interview - I deny everything

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Tue Oct 10 12:12:28 EDT 2000

>> But I was wondering what Andrew
>>could tell us of the interview itself - his impressions, tidbits that we/I
>>would like to hear but which didn't rise to the level of the article.
>>Anything, really.
> I'm afraid there's little _to_ tell. The interview was done through
> email - I sent questions, dwj sent answers - and I put down her comments
> pretty much verbatim. She did quip that some of my questions were like
> 'Have you stopped beating your wife yet?,' which made me blush rather.
> In particular, I had asked 'Many of your child characters are dedicated
> bookworms. Do you think that still reflects reality?' I had recently
> read Fire and Hemlock and Deep Secret, both featuring bookworm girls,
> and I had the vague memory there were others. As dwj pointed out,
> though:

Well, yes, Polly and Maree (not sure if Maree is really a bookworm, but we'll
count her in).  Tonino and Angelica, both, in MoC.  Christopher Chant?  He wan't
much of a bookworm (although Milly was, at that age!), but he was enough of one
to have read all the children's books provided by the castle staff.

You list members must be able to quote more examples...

> 'Who are these bookworms - Mitt(illiterate)? Sirius (a dog)? Caspar (who
> couldn't find a book in his room for the mess)? Cat (who never picks up
> a book if he can help it)? Tanaqui (illiterate)? Charles (who is too

Tanaqui?  Illiterate?  When she does the finest weaving in Dalemark?  Come off
it!!!  But I accept she's not a bookworm.

> busy thinking of witchcraft even to attend to books in lessons)? David
> (who only thinks about cricket)? Abdullah (who just sells carpets)?

Ok, Abdullah isn't.  But I'll bet his girlfriend is!  (Well, Abdullah thinks
Flower's well educated.  And Beatrice points out that she's learned everything
she knows by reading it in books.  Put the two together...)

> Jamie (who is wilfully ignorant)? Howard (who spends his entire time
> designing space ships)? Come ON.'
> For some odd reason, this reply did not make the print interview...
> Don't think my editor would have been impressed with this hack's
> ignorance.

Diana's point is true - she provides plenty of unbookish characters - but
doesn't address Andrew's - that she provides disproportionately many bookish
ones, compared to the population as a whole.  My own view: compared to the
subset of kids who are likely to be reading her books, the bookish characters
are not over-represented, because of the obvious distortion of the sample... :-)

> Q: Can you tell us anything else about your future projects? I was
> wondering if you were considering bring back Chrestomanci, or Howl and
> Calcifer.
> A: Sorry. I have been so busy this year correcting the proofs of twenty
> books which are being republished that I have still not wrestled apart
> the three books that keep trying to get written next.

Ooh!  I can hardly wait!

Well done Andrew, anyway.



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