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Posted by Chloe

August 9th 2010

Hi William, This also isn’t a question, just a ramble about how much I loved Rich and Mad, which I came to rather late I’m afraid. I wasn’t in full agreement with Marcus Sedgwick’s Guardian review and his thoughts on the portrayal (or not) of sex in books, but having not read the book, I couldn’t really make an informed opinion of my own. Then hearing Patrick Ness’s counterargument and high praise of it a couple of weeks ago, at a launch party for a book also about teens losing their virginity (Losing It), I thought I’d better get my act together and get on and read it. I agree with Marcus Sedgwick that the explicit details can often be toe-curling or clichéd but in the case of Rich and Mad, it is neither of these. It is unambiguous yet gentle, informative but not patronising. It IS essential that sex is written about and I can’t think of any better medium than fiction. Factual text books are all very well for educating in clinical detail, but where are teens supposed to find out the ‘facts’ of the emotions involved? They can’t always rely on their peers for the truth! We shouldn’t shy away from the topic and we certainly shouldn’t leave it out. Why be scared to tackle a topic that IS part of growing up and IS on every teenager’s mind? Better surely that they read a book like Rich and Mad, discuss it with their friends, and make informed judgements about when and to whom they lose it. Books which discuss sex honestly, should never be underrated for their educational value. I was fascinated when reading it to learn how old you are. Deeply personal I know, but your writing style and language are so pitch perfect, I assumed you must be only recently out of teenagedom yourself! As promised, a ramble, sorry about that. But I just felt compelled to say how much I enjoyed Rich and Mad and how important I feel it is. Oh, and the characters, main story and all it's twists and serious subject matter (Leo Finnigan) are just wonderful too. I was utterly gripped.

William Nicholson responded:

As you can imagine I agree with every word. Writing books is so personal that responses like yours make a serious difference to me. So thank you for taking the trouble and please spread the word.

Posted by Maximilian

August 8th 2010

In the end of "Slaves of the Mastery" in chapter 24, Ira Hath spoke the oath for 101 people and all of them walked towards their home country. But in "Firesong" in chapter one there were only 32 people on the march. What happened to the others?

William Nicholson responded:

There is a very good answer to this very good question, but I've forgotten it. Is there anyone out there who can tell me why I made this apparent mistake? Perhaps it's just a mistake...

Posted by Elizabeth Benedict

August 8th 2010

Not a question but a piece of news: my review of Secret Intensities in today's Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2010/08/08/vanity_fare_love_and_longing_in_rural_england/?page=1 - I was asked to blurb the book by Soho but liked it so much I thought I could do better by it by reviewing it. Hope this brings you sales and new readers. Best, Elizabeth Benedict www.elizabethbenedict.com www.mentorsmusesmonsters.blogspot.com

William Nicholson responded:

It's a seriously pleasing review for me, as you can imagine, and I really am grateful. It's so hard getting new books noticed, let alone with the care and intelligence you deploy - you're doing a real service. I guess that's the point of reviewing - passing on enthusiasm. Long may you flourish.

Posted by Edith

July 30th 2010

I don't have a question, I just want to say how much I *adored* your YA novel Rich & Mad. I received an advance copy at Book Expo America not knowing anything about it. Somehow I was drawn to pull it off my toppling To Be Read pile & I could not put it down. It's the most fantastic YA romance I've ever read, and I hope every teen in America gets their hands on a copy. I'm so excited to discover this book, and that you have so many others, which I shall now run to read!

William Nicholson responded:

I'm delighted you like my Rich and Mad. Please spread the word - many people are nervous about it.

Posted by Emily McLaren

July 28th 2010

Dear Mr Nicholson A the moment I am reading The Wind Singer as part of my school reading programme and am absolutly loving it. The way you have described all the characters is totally awesome! Anyway my question is "how did you come up with such a great idea for the Wind Singer? I'd love to here back from you and will contiue to keep reading your Wind on Fire trilogy. thanks

William Nicholson responded:

I'm pleased you're enjoying the Wind Singer. You've sent in several questions, so I hope this will do for all. I got the original idea from a dislike of what exams were doing to my children, and then the characters kind of ran away with me. I've always wanted to write books, from when I was very little, but it took me ages to get to be any good. It takes me a year or so to write a book, and yes, the characters all have a basis in me or in people I know - though I mix them up. Right now I'm working on screenplays, but I'm cooking up a new fantasy novel, very slowly. Why don't you have a go yourself?

Posted by Josh lovie

July 28th 2010

Are you in the middle of writing another medieval fantasy novel?

William Nicholson responded:

Not right now. I'm writing screenplays, and a new adult novel. But soon...