An Interview With Terry Pratchett.

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E-Mail Interview December 2000.

What inspired you to write?
I can't remember even not wanting to write.

How do you manage to keep the Discworld characters fresh, and exciting with each story. Or put another way each new Discworld story is as good as the last or better, how do you manage it?
Thanks for saying it, but it all comes down to one guy and a blank screen. And a lot of desperation. Making it look easy is the hard.

Do you have a favourite character?
Probably a toss-up between Granny Weatherwax and Commander Vimes. They're screwed up, and that makes them interesting to me.

You have now reached your 25th Discworld story how does that feel?
Nothing special. There wasn't a celebration or anything. It's just a number that comes after 24 and before 26 (which has also been written) The Truth has been at #1 here for the past four but it's not unusual for that to happen...

Where did the idea of "The Truth" come from?
Sigh. From inside my head. I was a journo for many years, after all. Some parts of the book are practically autobiography.

Will we see the employees of the Ankh-Morpork Times in another Discworld story?
Oh, sure. Like coppers, journalists can be very useful in a plot.

You have been to New Zealand more than once, can you share some personal views of what you think of this country, and will you be back sometime?
Well...it's like this. You get off a plane, you're jetlagged to Hell, you see some hotels, you see some bookshops, you see some studios. And the bits in between are New Zealand. It's hard, therefore, for me to have any very deep insights. I liked the South Island -- it looked like a warmer Scotland.

Does an OBE affect your writing style?
Yes. When I lean forward, it clanks against the space bar.

You have written children's books like the Truckers, Johnny and the Dead, will write more children's books?
Certainly. One is being written right now.

The rumour mill has Terry Gilliam involved with Good Omens. Is this true? If so are you happy with Gilliam as director, and will you be involved in some way?
It's not a rumour, it was put out officially; it's only become a rumour because the 'net turns everything into rumours. In theory shooting starts at the end of next year. Neil and I have vowed not to get involved at all, except maybe to sneak along to the set one day and nick stuff

Will the Beanstalk collaboration with Larry Niven (mention in the notes of his Rainbow Mars novel) ever happen?
Probably not. We get on well, but we have wildly different approaches to writing. He's a lot more thorough at the start, while I just write my socks off and then edit and edit.

Will we ever see a big screen version of one of your Discworld stories?
Maybe, and it'll be Mort if you do. But in truth I'm not much interested in movie options.

If money was no object what actors would you select to play the main characters?
When I was but a lad, my granddad said to me: never get involved in a casting thread!

Were you happy with the animated versions of Wyrd Sisters, and Soul Music.
Given the budget they had, they were well done, and care was taken. But because UK TV hates animations they were shown at weird times here, which I why I won't let any more be made. They sold lots on video, though.

Do you read fantasy yourself: and are you aware of the other fantasy writers out there?
I read just enough to see what's happen in the genre, but I'm not much involved with it.

What is the best thing being Terry Pratchett and the worst?
Best thing: I've made a lot of money by working hard at what I enjoy. Worst thing: being stuck in a weird no-man's land between genre and mainstream.