Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Question:
Please enter the code above in the text box below:

Search past questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Samuel Daram

January 16th 2012

Dear Mr Nicholson, Thank you so much for your response to my questions about the Sussex series. Actually, what can we call that series of novels? Edward St Aubyn has his "Melrosiad." Updike has his Rabbit Quartet. And you? I have now completed ALL THE HOPEFUL LOVERS. I did not want to leave the company of Laura, Chloe, Belinda, Tom, Jack, Christina, and Matt Early. Even though I completed reading that novel two days ago, I am still thinking about Guy and Cas? And about Joe. I went back to rereading Jonathan Franzen's THE CORRECTIONS last night. I hadn't read it since 2002. Now, after reading your two books, THE CORRECTIONS' excessive erudition seem to be in the way of its characters. The thing I love about ALL THE HOPEFUL LOVERS is that there are plenty of intriguing references to high culture. But they are so subtly and eleganty woven in to the story. This means that the characters come alive before me. I still love Franzen. Yet, you are the better storyteller. ALL THE HOPEFUL LOVERS is not just funny. I found the passages with Anthony Armitage and Carrie heartbreakingly moving. When I was reading the passage about Armitage being found dead by Christina and Joe, I was on the top deck of a crowded bus in Edgware. And I had to fight to prevent the tears in public. To borrow a line of Anthony Armitage, I'm lucky enough to be "rich in time." But even I shared his anxieties about mortality and the role of art in an artist's life. So this leads me to an important question. When you were writing this Sussex series, to borrow a term of Harold Bloom's, were you aware of your 'precursors' or 'precursor texts' in your literary journey? I am aware of your love of Tolstoy. However, did you study Updike's Rabbit Quartet or Franzen's THE CORRECTIONS? Once again, thank you so much for your time and words. I genuinely appreciate them. Now I'm off to read THE TRIAL OF TRUE LOVE. I want to postpone the reading of THE GOLDEN HOUR as long as I can. What will I do after that novel?! Best wishes Samuel Daram samuel.daram@ymail.com

William Nicholson responded:

In response, a word about Jonathan Frantzen. It was while reading The Corrections, and greatly admiring it, that I found the courage to write directly about my own middle-class world. So I owe Frantzen a lot. I read Freedom recently, and still admired his writing, but was disappointed by the book. Not sure why. As for a name for my sequence of novels, I have no idea. It's all grown organically, so maybe a name will emerge. I didn't have Updike in mind while writing, though of course I'm aware of Updike. Anthony Powell, a little. Balzac. Even Jane Austen, whose books all inhabit the same world as each other. But the whole thing has been more haphazard than that - until now. Now I'm creating a back story for my characters, all the way back into the twentieth century. The next book is mostly in the 1940s. I hope you'll like it.

Posted by Gups

January 15th 2012

In the book firesong. Did the windsingers save everyone on earth or just the manth people? Oh and could you explain to me if kesteral is dead at the end of the story(I understand that she still lives within bowman) but why haven't they made a grave for her or some sort of memorabilia ? And may I say probably the best three books (the windsinger, slaves of the mastery, and firesong) I have ever read :)

William Nicholson responded:

In my story world, the Singer people save the whole world. And yes, Kestrel is dead at the end, except that she and Bowman are really the same person, so she lives on. If that makes any sense.

Posted by Tino Di Biase

January 12th 2012

Hello Mr. Nicholson, love your screenwriting, but the reason for this email is a selfish one. I have written a screen story/novella, called BALL BOY, set in England, to do with the relationship between a soccer superstar (English Premiership) and a lowly "ball boy" for the club. I think its a great story and am very proud of it. But can't get it into the hands of anyone with any "power". ...and of course I'm asking for the usual help that a small fish asks of a big whale. (I'm trying to be creative here - sorry). I'm sure you've gone through the same situation when you were starting out. I have the story on line at platoandaristotle.com if you wish to take a brief look. And of course your help, or creative/business involvement with the story would be highly welcomed. Thank you for you time. Tino Di Biase (Toronto, Canada)

William Nicholson responded:

I sympathise with your problem - it's the same for all who are starting out - but I'm afraid I'm the wrong person to approach. You need to get to agents, directors, producers, not to a writer. Your story sounds as if it has a good basis, so don't give up. But I can't do it for you.

Posted by Samuel Daram

January 11th 2012

Dear Mr Nicholson, This time two weeks ago, I hadn't read anything by you. Then, I came across THE SECRET INTENSITY OF EVERYDAY LIFE. I became addicted to its prose, the characters and its world. Now, I'm reading ALL THE HOPEFUL LOVERS. I feel like Martin Amis after his first literary encounter with Saul Bellow: "Now I want to read everything he had written." My questions are these: 1.When you first began THE SECRET INTENSITY OF EVERYDAY LIFE, did you know that it would become a series? 2. Do you spend a lot of time plotting and outlining novels such as THE SECRET INTENSITY OF EVERYDAY LIFE? Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to these questions. PS: Many happy returns of your birthday. I'm assuming you will read this email on the 12th January! PS2: Believe it nor not, this is only the second time I written to a writer that I have to come revere. And I'm nervous about how you would treat this email! Best wishes Samuel Daram samuel.daram@ymail.com

William Nicholson responded:

Your email is greatly appreciated. I'm not sure I deserve reverence, but I do love to hear that readers have valued my writing. It's an oddly private process, writing, that then becomes public - so how it's received is very personal. To answer your questions, no, I didn't know I was embarking on a series. But now it's growing and growing. And yes, I do spend time plotting my novels, which are quite intricate in their structure. Also as I write I become aware of links I can make, and turns I can take, so they grow beyond the original plan in ways that delight me. Then of course I have to go back and rewrite earlier passages so it all adds up. I want them to read effortlessly, but believe me, a lot of effort goes into the making of them.

Posted by Ron Andrea

January 11th 2012

What was the source of your quote "We read to know we are not alone"? We corresponded about it several years ago, but I've lost your reply. It's a great thought, just not Lewis', though it seems (due to your excellent script) to be passing into modern myth as his work.

William Nicholson responded:

I made the line up, because I believe it to be profoundly true. It was never written or said by CSLewis.

Posted by Nik

January 10th 2012

Will you ever make ebook versions of your fantasy series? I'm really looking forward to reading these on my tablet.

William Nicholson responded:

They're supposed to be available now. I'll check.