Q&As

Over the years I have been asked many questions about my books, my approach to writing, and even about my interest in woodwork. The answer to your question may be right here, so have a browse or search my Q&As.



Questions & Answers

Q

I'm a budding author trying to find a way to get publishers to look at my work. My question is, how did you manage to get your first book published?

A

I suppose I was just lucky. You have to be talented, and you have to work hard, but you have to be lucky too. No two of those qualities are any good without the third one, but the only one you can do anything about is the hard work. So - work hard, and good luck. (I'm assuming you're already talented).

Asked on 04 April 2012

Q

Will Lyra and Will ever meet again, and does will ever fix the knife, and what exactly are Specters?

A

I don't know about Lyra and Will, but I very much doubt it. As for Specters, they were a way of talking about certain mental states such as depression and self-hatred.

Asked on 04 April 2012

Q

Have you ever wrote a book or had an idea for a book inspired by your dreams. I meant dreams when you are sleeping. Another thing, have you ever been in a lucid dream? Which can be very great idea to create a fantasy world.

A

I've only been inspired by a dream on a very few occasions, and nothing very much came of it. And I do occasionally have lucid dreams, but I seem to lose all sense of taste and structure and proportion when I'm in that state. I've never managed to make one into a coherent story.

Asked on 27 March 2012

Q

Do you have any idea when the book of dust will be finished? how far along are you? HUGE HUGE fan! - Jack Stephenson

A

It'll be finished when I write the words THE END. But seriously, I am well into it now and I can see the structure of the whole thing, which was difficult for me to see for a long time.

Asked on 25 March 2012

Q

On one of the book covers for the subtle knife, there is a picture of a leopard. Is there any reason for this? Or is there just a random leopard?

A

Nothing is random. I expect one of the children's daemons was temporarily in the form of a leopard.

Asked on 22 March 2012

Q

Dear Mr Pullman, You are a genius, a legend. I am 13 and deeply admire your 'His Dark Materials' trilogy and look forward to read your future works. Can you please recommend some books to read. Thank you, Amogh

A

Thank you very much. It's hard to recommend books without knowing anything about what you've read so far and what your reading tastes are, but one book that never fails is Rudyard Kipling's Kim.

Asked on 21 March 2012

Q

You mentioned somewhere in the Q&A section that you hadn't seen any evidence for the existance of God. I was wondering, what would it take to convince you that he exists?

A

Well, how long have we both got? I'm coming to think that 'evidence' is the wrong word to apply in this case. Apart from the simple-minded and the outright liars, most believers have no 'evidence' either. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, after all. Jesus himself says something to the point, but i can't remember where. Well, it would take a total revolution in my way of thinking to convince me that God existed. Some people ? St Paul is an obvious example ? came to believe through an overwhelming emotional experience. I remain to be overwhelmed. I hope that if i was I'd be honest enough to say so.

Asked on 28 August 2009

Q

Why do you make such a (commendable) effort to reply to the emails and letters you receive from fans? I have written to you twice, once as a young teen, once as an adult. You replied both times, and this surprised and delighted me. Is there a specific reason that you make such an effort to respond to correspondence? Kind regards, Vicky

A

Thank you for that. I canît reply to all of them, and I feel guilty about the ones I have to ignore. Itîs the way i was brought up, I suppose. I should probably update this website more often too. But one can only do so much.

Asked on 14 August 2009

Q

Dear Philip, I am a Big fan of your Sally Lockhart Quartet, I noticed there arenít many questions about this particular book. But my question was how come you decided for Fred to die?

A

Good question! I think I wanted Sally to develop in a different direction than sheîd have been able to if Fred had lived. Ruthless? Probably. But Iîm glad you are a fan of the Sally books. I certainly intend to do more stories about her and her friends.

Asked on 17 July 2009

Q

Hi, since hearing about “The Book of Dust” I have re-read all five books based on His Dark Materials. I have become quite obsessed with finding out any information at all about the Book of Dust, so I was wondering if you could tell me how big the book will actually be? Bigger than one of the books of the trilogy or two, or all three? Thanks.

A

The Book of Dust is growing slowly, but surely. I”ve had to interrupt it several times to do things that other people have asked me to do – maybe I”m too obliging – and I”m impatient to get back to it. It will be a single novel, not a trilogy. But if I tell you too much, the book will fly out of my head and not come back. I sometimes wish I could get back to the state of affairs before the first book was published, and no-one was interested at all. But that would be ungrateful for all the attention the trilogy has had since then,and I don”t mean that.

Asked on 13 July 2009

Q

I now often wonder what animals the daemons of people I know would be. Do you, too? Do you know what your daemon would be? Thank you for your writing.

A

I think I've said somewhere else that the way to find out what your daemon is is to ask your friends to write down what THEY think it is ñ but not to sign the piece of paper. You may be in for a nasty surprise!

Asked on 05 July 2009

Q

How does it feel knowing that almost every one who read The Amber Spyglass cried their hearts out? I just re-read it for the fifth time and I'm still sobbing (literally sobbing and it was literally the fifth time). I'm not asking like are you proud or why did you do that, but how does it feel knowing your story touched peopleís hearts like that.

A

Thanks. It feels strange, but gratifying. You can never predict how people will react to your work; I'm just very pleased to know that so many people have enjoyed it.

Asked on 30 June 2009

Q

Hi Philip. I wanted to know what do you think of the changes that they made to the Golden Compass in order to make it a happy ending? Personally i believe they should have kept the original ending.

A

Hello. They were making changes of all kinds, large and small, right up to the last minute and that's the way you make films. Some of the changes were based on the assumption that the sequels would be made swiftly after the first film, which turned out not to be the case. That's the way it goes.

Asked on 04 May 2009

Q

My daughter-in-law got an audio book by you, called Once Upon a Time in the North, which is about how the bear lost his armor. She also said that she saw it in book form at Wal-Mart, but didn't have the money to buy it at that time, and can't find it now. She says it's a novella, or very short book. Is this a separate book from the trilogy, or just an exerpt? Or is this even yours? She lives in another state, in a very small town. We don't have the same book stores, and all the stores I've inquired at say I'm crazy. What is Once Upon a Time in the North?

A

Yes, this is one of my books all right. It was published in 2008, and you should be able to get it through any bookstore.

Asked on 01 May 2009

Q

Hi, Mr. Pullman, I really loved the movie The Golden Compass, and I want to read all of your books now, but my parents think that it is against God and is anti-Christian. I know that you're busy, but could you tell me if you wrote it with the intention of killing God at the end? And did you really write it to where the true God dies? Thank you so much for your time.

A

What I'd like to know is have your parents actually read the books, or have they just heard about them? Plenty of people have told plenty of lies about my work. The best advice i can give you is to read His Dark Materials with an open mind, and decide what you yourself think.

Asked on 21 April 2009

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