Eoin Colfer Interview

Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books, responded to my questions in 2006.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
As a child my favourite book was Stig of the Dump by Clive King. Reading this book for the first time was like escaping to another world, where anyone could be the hero, even me.

Which of your books was the most difficult to write?
I think my first book Benny & Omar was the hardest one for me. I had loads of ideas but no experience in knit them together into one story. It took me two years to get it right.

How do you write your books? Do you plot and plan in detail, or do you develop an idea as you are writing?
I write a skeleton outline, about three pages, and I use this as a safety net, then I let myself go mad. Very often the finished book bears little relation to the initial plan.

Why do you enjoy writing for children?
I enjoy writing for children because I established a good rapport with them over 15 years teaching. I learned what makes them laugh, what interests them, and what bores them out of their skulls. I have been able to use this information to write books.

What advice would you give to young writers to help them to improve their stories?
  • Read every day - reading is research for writing.
  • Try to make your characters interesting and original.
  • Don't try to write like someone else.
  • Pay attention to the interesting people around you.
  • Try not to end every story with And then I woke up, it was all a dream.

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