By Paul Rose
a riddle for you: who wears a distinctive hat, has a big
white beard, is somewhat overweight, and makes millions
of people happy? No, it isn’t Odin, but one Mr Terry
Pratchett, author of the zillion-selling Discworld
novels. He’s been writing books since he was 17, with
early novels aping the sci-fi of heavyweight authors
such as Asmiov and Larry Niven. But it was in 1983 that
Pratchett devised the comic, cosmic Discworld fantasy
universe, and set a course to fame and infamy. Currently
working on The Fifth Elephant, due for release in
November this year, Terry took all of thirty seconds to
fire out some half-decent answers to our rubbish
questions. He doesn’t like rubbish questions, you
DID YOU GET INTO WRITING?
never made any decision. It sort of happened. A hobby,
it was an incipient hobby that gradually became a career
without me making a coherent decision at any
WRITE A LOT OF BOOKS DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A PROLIFIC
actually quite astonished that I could be considered to
be one, compared to some of the prolific writers of
history. I mean, P.G Wodehouse must have knocked up at
least sixty novels. I don't know how news got around
that I'm particularly prolific. Lets face it, two books
a year; that's less than 400 words a day, that's less
than two pages of double space A4 a day. That's not a
lot of words, so it doesn't take long to type them. The
rest of the time is spent getting spurious background
DO YOU DO IF YOU GET STUCK FOR IDEAS?
don't. Ideas are easy. Getting your mind right so that
you have the ideas is the hardest part."
YOU EVER FEEL UNDER PRESSURE TO BE FUNNY ALL THE TIME?
Curiously enough it tends to go the other way. If you
get a reputation for being funny then saying something
like ‘can you pass the salt please’ can get some
people into a fit of giggles. ‘God, it's the way he
tells them.’ In fact, sometimes it's quite hard to be
DO YOU MAKE OF THE PHANTOM MENACE HYPE?
depressing. Get the merchandising out, then release the
movie. and the media all fall for it. Even the BBC
dropped its pants and showed a long 'Making of...'
programme that was just an extended ad. "
YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM OF DISCWORLD MERCHANDISING?
love the gold Death ring Clarecraft made for me as a
'thank you' for letting them do the silver rings."
WOULD YOU CAST IN A DISCWORLD MOVIE?
depends on which movie. This is a question that always
puzzles me; people say "why don't you have a film
made of so-and-so", but it doesn't work like that.
You don't just barge into an office and say "Hi,
Mr. Spielberg, I want you to make a film."
WOULD PLAY YOU IN A FILM OF YOUR LIFE, AND WHAT WOULD THE
FILM BE CALLED?
would be called 'The Film That Won't Be Made'."
OFTEN DO YOU GET ASKED TO DO INTERVIEWS?