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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Tom

September 14th 2009

Hi, i'm reading The Wind Singer in my school class, and have to make some notes as homework on the book. But not the simple ones, like when it was released, but the ones beneath the surface, lke where did you get the inspiration for the book from? How long did it take? Is it based around a person's life YOU know? Is there a secret message, or moral of the story? What do you think life would be like if the world was like the meritocracy in Aramanth? Is there a country that you have based Aramanth on? As a child, were you like Bowman or Kestrel? And how did you get the idea for the building of the Wind Singer? Thanks, I would be very grateful of the answers.

William Nicholson responded:

There isn't a secret message in the Wind Singer, there's a very open and clear message: building a society on crude tests is unfair and cruel. If the real world ever became like Aramanth it would be a nightmare. As for me as a child, I expect you know what I'm going to say: I was definitely both Bowman and Kestrel. All of us are many-faced. In different circumstances we are brave or timid, confident or insecure, handsome or ugly.

Posted by Nicole

September 14th 2009

In English at school we are reading your novel, 'The Wind Singer'. As homework we have to research the novel and you in general. So........... What inspired you to write the novel, 'The Wind Singer'? and Are the characters in the book fantasy or linked to yourself or people you may know? Thanks!!!!!!!

William Nicholson responded:

I started writing the novel because I was irritated by over-testing in schools. The characters are all versions of myself or people in my family or people I know, but what you do when making up characters is scramble bits of real people together and let a new fictional person grow from the mix.

Posted by jasmin

September 12th 2009

we have just started to read your book the wind singer in our year 9 english class and was wondering where you got your ideas for the book from? because it is quite a complex issue about the struggles of life in amaranth but it's a strange concept of living your life with tests and being judged on how well you do in them; i found it realted quite a bit into modern day life in the sense that we all get judged for somthing which i found a bit surprising since people dissagreed with the methods of living in book e.g. getting regularly tested and judged but surely thats not so different from how people live in reality today weather it's for completly different reasons. thanks.

William Nicholson responded:

I think the testing in the real world is too much, and too crude - that it fails to find what each person really has to offer. So although I wrote the Wind Singer to be a fun story, I did mean it also to criticise our over-tested society. So if you saw connections between the book and your life, that's great.

Posted by Rida

September 11th 2009

I have just finished reading The society of Others and I am dying to read it all over again. It is one of those books that cannot be unravelled in just one read.I cannot even begin to comprehend the nature of your imagination;the one thing i understand is that it's something beyond the grasp of us average humans!To translate into words the ideas and emotions that are in your head is a difficult task but you have the most impressive ability to mould words in such a way that they paint the picture you want them to!My head is currently exploding with questions and ideas.I have absolutely NO idea where to start from!!!!! I'm thinking the person the protagonist kills at the end of the novel is some sort of his evil or rather hatred filled,self-obsessed alter ego which I think is represented in the form of the man in the grey mercedes. The reason i think that is because 1) our first encounter and our second encounter in the reading room is one and the same. 2)we are told that the person who was assassinated in the beginning by our hero was the chief of security which sort of points to the the man in the grey mercedes again since he always seemed to be the one giving the orders, "the one in the back of the car,the one in control". 3)The identity or the face of the the man in the mercedes(I will call him Bob for easier reference) was never really revealed to us except that he seemed to be the same age as our narrator. 4)Throughout the story the main character is running away/avoiding Bob and anytime he had to confront Bob,even in the vaguest way, it sort of intimidated him 5) except for at the end of the novel where it is the other way round and outside the castle Bob is the one "fleeing" our hero.This is about the time the protagonist realises that he has to liberate himself from his infected self ergo he goes to the book-lined room and becomes a free man. My other thought is that unknowingly we go through the adventure twice since the beginning and the end are the same we come round in a full circle,maybe that is why the narrator has so many deja-vus and why everything seems so familiar also at the end he knows exactly how to get to the book-lined room.(I'm sorry this is so long!) Ofcourse these could all be total misinterpretations but I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Mr.Nicholson you should really add a forum section to your site where all of your fans could discuss and ponder over your books! Oh, it was such and amaizing experience!Your book consumed me and spat me out a totally different person.I got to experience so many new ideas in the form of Vicino, so many uninhabited rooms that were visited! Please,Please never stop writing! Let my incomprehensible baffle be proof of the efect your books has on us! Yours sincerely, Rida Shahid

William Nicholson responded:

I love your notion of christening the pursuer 'Bob'. Your guesses are right: the pursuer who the hero must kill is indeed himself, or rather the self that causes him to be self-enclosed rather than open to the 'society of others'. The entire action takes place, as you say, in a circle that returns to the starting place. If you read carefully you'll find all the places he visits are part of his earlier experiences, most of all his visits to the National Gallery. Wherever the word 'red' occurs, you are in a painting that hangs in London's National Gallery. I know this won't make much sense - there's so much packed into this book that readers never get to - but you've clearly had fun with it, which pleases me greatly.

Posted by Hannah

September 11th 2009

Hi, I'm Hannah a friend of Rachel; reading the Wind Singer with class and my teacher Mr Circuirt, but we only have got to chapter two thats "slow" reading, I was tempted to read on, so i did. At first the Arabic at the front on the Map, I thought was strange and when Mr Circuit offered a prize to who ever could work it out. I took the liberty of buying the book from the local libary and am now on chapter Ten and the Arabic is easy, i would say my favourite part but i wouldn't like to spoil it for my friends. I hope you enjoyed hearing from me, i'm sure many other pupils from my class shall write to you also. P.S. I can't wait to read the next book!!! I have written a book but am to scare to read it to my friends i'm scared the will laugh, they already think i'm a boff. What should i do?

William Nicholson responded:

It's great that you've written a book yourself. Don't show it to your friends, show it to your parents or teachers. They won't laugh. And as for being a boff - you'll get the last laugh. It's the smart ones who read and write who end up running the world, while all those so-called cool kids who never learned anything end up in dead-end jobs. So don't join them gawping and twittering over celebrities, drive your own life. Be a creator not a spectator. It's a whole lot more fun.

Posted by Rachel

September 10th 2009

Hi, I am currently reading The Wind Singer in my English class. Although we are only now at Chapter 2, your book has already grabbed me and I love it! My homework is to research you and the novels you have produced. So, I would like to ask you a few questions. When did you first realise that you loved to write? I really like writing but not so much stories. I'm more of a poetry person. What advice would you give to somebody who wanted to write but not sure that their work is good enough? Finally, what is your favourite book and film? Thankyou for your time and I look forward to reading the rest of your book, The Wind Singer! Rachel x

William Nicholson responded:

I started writing when I was very young, maybe five years old, though it was all very silly, of course. But my mother encouraged me. I was about 14 when I really got hooked. As for your concern that you might not be good enough, I'd say, Good enough for what? At the start of any learning process you'll be not so good, but the more you do it, and the more you learn, the better you get. So by definition you won't be 'good enough' yet. The question is, do you enjoy it? If you do, get on with it and have fun. Writing well requires a great deal of understanding of yourself, other people, and the world. That takes living for a while. So be patient. Favourite book and film? I hate answering this, because it really means very little. Any one book or film limits me so much. I'll give you some authors I love - Tolstoy, George Eliot, Jane Austen - I reread all of them. Films? There's not a single film I'd want to see again and again the way I reread War and Peace or Emma, but I do love Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Good luck with your own writing.