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Posted by Tyrone Byrne

October 30th 2013

Hello William, I do have a question, however I would first like to thank you for writing the Wind on Fire series, which remains to be the only series that I have ever re-read. Your writing style should be the hallmark for any fiction writer, enough description to feel detailed, but also not too much so that the imagination of the reader is left unused. I cannot recommend your works highly enough, and in spite of it being a Hollywood, Gladiator remains to be one of my favourite movies (although I hope you will not be offended that I enjoy your prose more). I would like to ask about the inspiration behind the Wind on Fire series, if that is okay. Did you as a writer have a eureka moment when creating the book, or was the imaginative process more gradual than that? On this, I was wondering which of the characters most resonated with you personally? Finally, I was wondering whether you think the writer always has to have the end of their story in mind when they start writing, or whether they can decide upon the conclusion as they are writing?

William Nicholson responded:

The Wind on Fire books began with a rather narrow anger at the over-testing of children in schools, together with a need to write something that was entirely mine (as opposed to film work). It grew organically from there - and for me, thrillingly. I had the end of the first book clearly in mind from the start, but not the next two books at all. I am by nature a planner, and try to know where I'm going; but the journey always turns out to be stranger than I had expected. My advice is make a plan, to help you know your direction of travel, but don't hesitate to head off in new directions as you write.

Posted by Jassmin

October 27th 2013

Don't have a question, just wanna say I appreciate your speech on the BAFTA & BFI Lecture Series. I especially love how you said it out loud that it's not us or our voices that they want, and how fortunate we are to be awake. My sentiments exactly! Out of everything I've gained from it, I love how it makes me a better person best. Thanks for all the important reminders. I'm gonna beat myself into discipline now & finish this script.

William Nicholson responded:

Discipline is the secret, you're right. Until you've got something for others to read, you haven't even reached the stage of potential failure. But brace yourself: it's cold out there. On the other hand, as you already know, it's passion and joy and self-discovery and growth. So you can't lose.

Posted by Aoife

October 26th 2013

Hi William! Aoife here. My class have just finished reading your book 'The Wind Singer'. We all loved it. I find it difficult to write page turner stories. Can you give me some advice? Thanks

William Nicholson responded:

I'm not sure there is any advice that works every time. My method is to work out what my main character really wants, and make sure it's something I as the writer feel strongly about, and then hope that the reader will share that desire. I think we all have a strong instinctive passion for justice, so if characters are unjustly treated we keep reading to see justice done. And we want loveable characters to be loved back, so we keep reading for that. And so on.

Posted by Tori

October 23rd 2013

Hi Mr. Nicholson, This is not a question -- it's just a thank you for your brilliant speech that's on the BAFTA guru website. I love that you said not to go to Hollywood. And, more than that, thank you for the insight as to keeping writing even when you don't want to. I needed to hear that today. So, thank you SO much! I've got my head back on track! Tori

William Nicholson responded:

I wish I was always able to take my own advice.

Posted by carl a veno

October 22nd 2013

I was born in the same hospital as Louis Zamperini and I also lived in Olean, New York birth place of Mr. Zamperini. I am a screenwriter and a researcher. I would like to contribute some information to the movie "UNbroken". as I know people who knew the family. I am not looking for a full time job.I would to contribute information you can add to the script.

William Nicholson responded:

The project is now in production, I'm afraid. It's too late for me to add to the screenplay. My part in the process is done, and I no longer have contact with the film makers.

Posted by Dalton

October 20th 2013

Are there any plans to release a Kindle version of the Wind Singer Trilogy? I have them in hardback but I do a lot of traveling and would like to be able to read them on the go.

William Nicholson responded:

I believe there is just now an ebook version of the Wind Singer been made available. I haven't tested this, but so my publisher tells me. The other books in the trilogy haven't yet been ebooked, I think.