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" My parents were horrified when I told them I wanted to be an author. "
" Children's literature is as valid an art form as any other. "
" We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself. "
" When I was discharged, I attended the University of Paris and met a beautiful Parisian girl, Janine. We soon married and eventually returned to the States. "
" I had always been interested in mythology. I suppose my brief stay in Wales during World War II influenced my writing, too. It was an amazing country. It has marvelous castles and scenery. "
" King Arthur was one of my heroes - I played with a trash can lid for a knightly shield and my uncle's cane for the sword Excalibur. "
" Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They're always with us. We just sort of accumulate them. "
" I guess there's only two possible places ideas can come from. One is the outside: everything that happens to you and everything that you do in life. And the other is the inside part: your own personality and imagination, and no two people are alike, like fingerprints. "
" If writers learn more from their books than do readers, perhaps I may have begun to learn. "
" Heroes are people who think more of others than themselves. This is not to say that they don't think of themselves. They do. They certainly do. But they think of others more. "
" After seven years of writing - and working many jobs to support my family - I finally got published. "
" There's this huge number of desperate people. "
" I was afraid that not even Merlin the Enchanter could transform me into a writer. "
" In whatever guise - our own daily nightmares of war, intolerance, inhumanity or the struggles of an Assistant Pig-Keeper against the Lord of Death - the problems are agonizingly familiar. And an openness to compassion, love, and mercy is as essential to us here and now as it is to any inhabitant of an imaginary kingdom. "
" Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, and so many others were my dearest friends and greatest teachers. "
" After I saved some money, I quit work and went to a local college. "
" Oh, my parents never cracked a book, just newspapers. "
" Classical heroes are usually much larger than life. They're not quite human beings. They're somehow larger than human scale. "
" My imagination can do whatever it wants to do. This gives me a great sense of freedom. "
" Most of my books have been written in the form of fantasy. "
" My concern is how we learn to be genuine human beings. "
" I loved all the world's mythologies. "
" I didn't know if I'd be good with children. Actually talking with them, I mean. But I am good with them. "
" I never have found out all I want to know about writing and realize I never will. "
" I used the imaginary kingdom not as a sentimentalized fairyland but as an opening wedge to express what I hoped would be some very hard truths. "
" It was 1943. The U.S. had already entered World War II, so I decided to join the army. "
World War II
" I'm impossible when a book is taking shape. Well, actually, I'm despicable. "
" Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it. "
" After high school, I worked as a messenger boy at a local bank. I was miserable. I felt like Robin Hood chained in the Sheriff of Nottingham's dungeon. As a would-be writer, I thought it was a catastrophe. As a bank employee, I could barely add or subtract and had to count on my fingers. "
" Eventually, I was sent to Wales and Germany, and after the war, to Paris. "
" Using the device of an imaginary world allows me in some strange way to go to the central issues - it's one of many ways to express feelings about real people, about real human relationships. "