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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Nigel Hollinshead

March 17th 2011

When you have written a book do you have the feeling that, even after editing it, in some sense it is a work in progress?

William Nicholson responded:

Yes, but there comes a time when you have to let it go. Even after it's published, you always know you could improve it. No matter: you have to move on. That ship has sailed.

Posted by Dana Kimmelman

March 15th 2011

I read the Wind on Fire trilogy when I was very young, and have re-read it several times since. Each reading brings new excitement and insight, mostly because of the extraordinary character development. Were Kestrel and/or Bowman inspired by people you knew? Do they represent a particular literary archetype? I have rarely become so attached to characters in a novel, worthy of admiration even with their flaws.

William Nicholson responded:

I think the simple answer is that Kestrel and Bowman are both myself, or parts of myself. All of us are complex beings - brave/timid, gentle/aggressive, etc - and I use books to explore aspects of myself in fragment form. I'm also aware that the Hath family is an amalgam of my parental family and my own family, both of which are made up of parents, and boy-girl-girl children. I was of course unaware of this when writing. As for literary archetypes, I take care to keep well away from such thoughts. I want to write about people with real feelings, I want to be in there in the mess with my characters, not hovering over them as a god-like artist. I studied literature at Cambridge. It took me years to weed the intellectual self-consciousness out of my work. But I'm really pleased that you respond as you do. I've put a lot into these books. Might you take a peek at some of my other stuff?

Posted by Stephanie Reid-Simons

March 14th 2011

Am writing a piece for the Amazon Studios blog about historical epics. Would love your thoughts on what makes them work (and not work).

William Nicholson responded:

Too huge a subject for the brief response I have time to offer - but my main feeling is any historical film must have resonance now - in a sense we use the past to understand the present - and that like all stories the key is the involvement we feel with the main character. No amount of grand battle scenes will rescue a film if we're not emotionally engaged.

Posted by angus

March 11th 2011

how long have you been a writer and why do u

William Nicholson responded:

All my life, almost; though I wasn't able to make my living being a writer until my late 30s. Why do I write? Try it - you'll soon find out. There's no buzz like it.

Posted by clair matheson

March 11th 2011

what is your fave book and why?

William Nicholson responded:

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Because I love the characters so much.

Posted by David Farmer

March 6th 2011

Thank you for having the insight to write Firelight. So many treasures in one movie. I know that the viewer is the key to unlocking those treasures and that those treasures are mine. It is a sumptuous feast and I am not sure when I will get my fill. My guess is that it could be addictive..so might life. I am moved and I thank you for the opportunity to tell you. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing Farewell

William Nicholson responded:

Wonderful that my film lives on, and that people like you can find it, and tell me so. Modern technology never ceases to amaze me. Thank you.