Sir Terence David John Pratchett (he has an OBE) was born in 1948 in Buckinghamshire, England. An only child, he spent hours at the local library and had a fascination with Astronomy. This led to an interest in reading science fiction and attending conventions.
He published his first short story at the age of 13, in his school magazine, but it wasn’t until he was 20 that he got his first break. Whilst working as a journalist he met a publisher and his first novel was published in 1971.
The first Discworld novel was published in 1983, but it wasn’t until 4 years later that he gave up work to write full time. The Times named him as top selling and highest earning UK author in 1996. To date the Discworld series of books (39) have sold over 55 million copies worldwide.
Known for his distinctive writing style, which includes footnotes and lack of chapters, the characters, place names and titles of his work often include puns and cultural references. A hallmark of his dialogue is the use of capital letters and no speech marks.
In the past he has dabbled in sci-fi and horror genres, but now, focuses entirely on fantasy. He has built an observatory in his garden and even has an asteroid named after him. In 2007 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Because of his condition he currently writes by dictating to an assistant or by using voice recognition software.
My favourite Pratchett quotes:
“You can’t build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around, with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I’m not writing ‘The A Team’ – if there’s a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.”
“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.”
“I have to write because if I don’t get something down then after a while I feel its going to bang the side of my head off.”
“I like writing. I get cranky when I cant. Yes, I write books back to back, and I work very hard on them.”
“My own books drive themselves. I know roughly where a book is going to end, but essentially the story develops under my fingers. Its just a matter of joining the dots.”
Pratchett explains Discworld:
Pratchett interview from last year:
Im not a real fan of fantasy I have to say, but that’s probably because, apart from The Hobbit, I haven’t read any 😦 But im pleased to see a fantasy genre author with an OBE! Do you read fantasy, and if so, what is it about the genre that you like?