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 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.

Posted by Natasha

March 6th 2011

This is not really a question but more of a thank you for writing Rich and Mad. When I first found the book at a local bookstore,I honestly thought-without reading anything-it was going to be about two rich and stubborn teenagers who found love in each other. But,reading the summary on the back cover and cover flaps, I found it to be more interesting and realistic than most books you see now-a-days. The story took me by surprise,as I was expecting the cliche teens dramatically fall in love and live happily ever after, but instead it took the readers through all of the twist and turns of finding love as a naive teenager. The only complaint anyone that has saw me reading you book is by my librarian who said 'it's too mature for a child of your age' but after reading the book,she agreed that it was perfect for us. I suggested the book to my friends who-I guess it's safe to say-have started a book club. They read and loved the book also. Although critics say the book should be directed to the young adults,my friends and I really enjoyed it-and we are only in the seventh grade. You have inspired me to start writing again,as I had stopped in the fourth grade because I thought I wasn't good enough. Once again,thank you for opening our eyes to what's really going on in the world and letting young teens into the minds of their opposite sex. I have only one question,will there be an sequel to Rich and Mad? We would really like the read it. Thank you, Natasha C.

William Nicholson responded:

I'm very pleased you've found 'Rich and Mad'. It does worry librarians and teachers - usually before they've read it - and that means it isn't getting official recommendation, so it only ever gets found by chance readers. As you'll know now, having read it, my purpose was to explore the doubts and anxieties of teen love realistically, in a world where most teens' knowledge of love and sex comes from internet porn. But it seems many adults would rather leave their kids to that source than allow them to read my book. It's a strange world. As for a sequel, I have no plans at present. But as you'll see from this website, I write a lot of books.