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Posted by marcus

September 18th 2009

what has ur life been like since u have writen the book

William Nicholson responded:

Not so bad, thank you. Much of my time has been occupied writing other books.

Posted by lisa robinson

September 17th 2009

hello, in my year 9 class at my school we are reading your book the wind singer, and we all find it very in tresting. and my class have been given a homework to find out why you wrote the book, what made you come up with the idea, whos you favourit charter, di you base any of them on yourself. i would be very gratefull if you reply to my questions. bye.

William Nicholson responded:

The characters are certainly based on bits of me and bits of my family, as well as many other people. Pinpin is based on my younger daughter, as she was when she was little. Ira Manth is very like my mother. Kestrel, Bowman and Mumpo are all parts of me.

Posted by Kyri

September 17th 2009

HI, I am currently reading "The Wind Singer" in my English class, and I am finding it more and more interesting as I continue to study and delve deeper into the storyline and all the characters. I would be interested to know where you got ideas for the story, and which place did you base the city of Aramanth on? I am really feeling the harshness of the book, and all the tests that take place, and as i read it, i realize how terrible the place of Aramanth is. I would really be grateful if you could answer these questions for my homework. Thank you.

William Nicholson responded:

Aramanth isn't based on any real city, but the mad way it's run is a sort of extreme version of what has been happening in our own world. I really don't like the way tests have taken over as the only way people and schools are measured. So if it seems harsh, that's good.

Posted by Cynthia Alves

September 17th 2009

Dear William, 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life': Thank you. Even more than enjoying the read, I always look out for what remains after. The after glow with this story was the realisation that it was conveyed free from judgement. Which helps me to see and feel the same - all the more deeply because as a story (rather than academic talk about non-judgement) the view touches me emotionally too. I have no idea how much that was your conscious intention, although I imagine it hard for any author to manipulate such an outlook. It has also made me wonder what is next, where you are looking and heading. (Beyond Rich and Mad - any authors I know have more than one string of idea playing at any time, or at least patiently waiting). I'll tell you what I am looking for - food for thought I hope rather than reader's ravings (having worked for years for an author, I am self-conscious about such pouring-out letters to authors.) I have read and talked with others much, and experienced a bit myself, of awareness of being part of the whole of Earth's life. I know it intellectually, sometimes feel it. I see people mostly still human-centric, increasingly alienated, and not infrequently feel despair that we will be unable to shift or grow - what? Values, awareness, consciousness, feel for - whatever it takes to be and behave in the world, to experience ourselves as part of it, in a way that actively cares for all of Earth as our own life, which it is. I remember hints of such perception, of how it is to expand consciousness, through your Noman and Wind Singer series. I look to read stories that, first, engender the same renewed deep hope that I felt at hearing Rob Hopkins speak about how the Transition Town movement is growing. Yet I want it as story, because that touches deeper and lasts longer, helps me to see more surely and responsively, and so moves me the moreso than talking about. Second, I look for what triggers expanding awareness that makes a difference to my own actions. As for how non-judgement was the ambience for 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life', stories that show me a way, play out possibilities, trigger something more caring, loving and living in me. Overall too, I look for representations of humanity that is moving beyond human-centricity, and that gives us clues (or more) that there are other, greater buzzes than witnessing violence, threat and other human sludge that media is increasingly pouring out. Whever you go next with your writing, I look forward with happy anticipation and wish you the continued wonder of outporing that comes from the most loving creative depths of our life. Love and blessings, Cynthia

William Nicholson responded:

I feel honoured and more importantly validated by your response to my book. You say you responded to its freedom from judgement. I think I'd use a different term - compassion. I'm 61 years old now, I've seen and felt much, and I am ever more acutely aware how hard life is, and how each in their own way lives magnificently. I don't believe in evil, though I know people do evil things through fear, ignorance and the hunger for respect. So I want to write about others in such a way that sympathy grows, mutual understanding grows, fear lessens. You ask what I'm writing now: I'm at work on a sequel of sorts to Secret Intensity, that picks up some of the characters eight years on, and follows them through the mess of various botched love affairs. As before I want to write from all points of view - the adulterous husband, the wounded wife, the other woman, as well as many more. I'm convinced this is what the novel can do that no other form can match - increase our understanding of each other, of what goes on inside other people. Anyway, I'm trying. Perhaps it's as much an act of faith as a true perception, but I do truly believe in the goodness of people. Thank you for taking the trouble to pass on your thoughts.

Posted by bre

September 14th 2009

I've read the Wind of Fire series a million times and each time I find out something i missed from the last time. I LOVE the books- the story is just so crazy and good and believable. How did you come up with a story and another world so complex? And how do you think Sisi was able to find her parents after the Manth peopel reached the homeland?

William Nicholson responded:

I love that you love my books. How can I explain how writing this sort of thing happens? It's all a mash-up of everything that happens in my head, which comes from everything that happens in my life. It's now several years since I wrote the books and believe it or not the details have faded, so I can't answer your question about Sisi. You probably know better than I do now. I have this odd feeling my characters have escaped me and are living their own lives.

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.