Robert Westall

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Ever since I wrote The Machine-gunners (and in spite of the fact that my last three books have been fantasies) people keep consulting me about realism in children's books. Rather as if I'd been appointed high priest and was being asked to read the entrails. There is not much career-structure for high priests who fail to read entrails, so I'd better come clean with what I think. (p. 34)

Perhaps all the best books start by being written for only one child, and that child very close to you. They start when the child-within-the-author turns to the real child and says, "Come away with me and I will show you a place you otherwise will never see, because it is buried under thirty, or three hundred or...

(The entire section is 1689 words.)