P is for Pratchett


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?

32 thoughts on “P is for Pratchett

  1. Okay, Vikki. I missed out commenting on Orwell. Couple him with Brave New World for me and we hve a matched set. However, today you have stumped me. The first of all your writers I am not familiar with. This means I need to find out who he is 🙂 Interesting to think of what everyone will do with Q … lots of luck with that one !!


    • Ahhhhh, you like Huxley too Florence 😉 Brave New World is an EXCELLENT book!

      Really? Wow, I’m shocked lol….yes, do check him out honey…and have fun!

      Ahhhhh, I have a BRILLIANT Q *sniggers* 😉



  2. I’m a voracious fantasy reader – and writer – and I think what I love about it is the possibility. With fantasy, you can do things that aren’t possible in the “real world,” plus I just love the idea of making up entirely new worlds!



    I started reading the Discworld series late last year with Guards! Guards! and I’ve been devouring the series whenever I get a chance. I have absolutely loved all the Discworld books I’ve read, with Men at Arms (the sequel to Guards! Guards!) being my favorite so far. (I actually reviewed a Discworld book for the A to Z Challenge this year: Jingo.)

    From what I’ve read, I’d say new people to the series should check out Guards! Guards!, Equal Rites, or Mort as a starting place. Or, if you’re a Shakespeare fan as well, Wyrd Sisters (a.k.a., Discworld does MacBeth).

    I’ve been reading (and writing) fantasy for years, and it’s difficult to pinpoint just what it is I love so much about the genre. I think it’s the epic stories, the glimpses into worlds not our own, and the creative magic systems. Many of my favorite novels, period, have been fantasy or have had fantastic elements. 🙂


  4. I’m not a huge fantasy fan but ADORE Terry Pratchet. I’ve not read all of the Discworld books but am working my through them in random order. “Going Postal” is one of my faves. Oh and also loved Good Omens. Haw haw haw! XX Great post!


  5. I’ve heard of him but not read him. Yep writing is the most fun one can have alone. I don’t read fantasy though I believe jasper Fforde who I just discovered is considered fantasy


  6. Love Pratchett especially the watchmen ones – I came to hime quite late inlife so far have managed about twenty so have a way to go yet:) well worth the read – totaly different from Tolkein do not expect sim.


  7. I love the ‘joining the dots’ quote – only today I was thinking that I should make my plan more detailed – but now I’m reassured! The dots are the essential happenings, the rest… well, my fingers seem to know what the rest is! I love that moment of writing something or a character saying something and me going: “Oh!” Another interesting author, Vikki!


  8. I have never attempted the entire Discworld series, but did acquire a few that are considered more YA fantasy. I am always intrigued by writers who can create such a vast fictional world that sustains their writing through so many books!


  9. Yeah, Terry Practchett! My favourite books of his are Feet of Clay and Small Gods. The ending of Small Gods, I remember was the first and only book ending that actually made me cry happy tears. Well written fantasy doesn’t point us to the differences between worlds, but of the deeply familiar stories of hope, fear, desire, and all that jazz. That’s why I enjoy it.


  10. Pingback: The twelve greatest fantasy authors of all time / Let’s escape reality | The old man and the internet

  11. Pingback: Author Interview: Chantal Bellehumeur - The First 750 Words

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