The November 2005 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine (what, you don’t read Nick Magazine on Christmas Eve?) features a set of short interviews with young adult fantasy authors. Here are some excerpts:
Nick: What kind of fantasy stories do you like to read?
Kate DiCamillo (author of The Tale of Despereaux): What interests me as a reader and as a writer is how people – or mice or rats, as the case may be – interact. Relationships interest me. I don’t have patience for full-blown battles and all that kind of stuff.
Nick: What’s your favorite fantasy creature?
Eoin Coifer (author of the Artemis Fowl series): Vampires. Someday I’m definitely going to have a go at a vampire story.
Nick: Is there anything you try to avoid in your fantasy stories?
Cornelia Funke (author of Inkspell): One idea that I don’t like at all is when nobles and kings are everywhere, bit the normal people don’t play a part in the story. I have much more sympathy for the weak and the poor than for the strong and ruling.
Nick: WHat do you stay away from when writing fantasy?
Christopher Paolini (author of Eldest): I try to avoid having too many fantasy elements in the story. If you have too many invented creatures, too many pieces of magic, too many fantasy names, it’s hard for the reader to relate to it all.
Another tidbit gained from Nick mag: Henry Winkler (yes, Fonzie) is writing children’s books – the Hank Zipzer series.