Recently I did something which, in hind-sight, was probably very irritating. Instead of getting my just earned smack around the virtual head, I was rewarded with kindness, tolerance and generosity.
It’s a good job we don’t always get what we deserve :-).
Writers, especially successful writers, especially incredibly successful writers are busy people. So when I asked one particular extremely successful writer if he would give me some of his valuable time, I didn’t really expect a yes. But I got one anyway.
Author Piers Anthony is a prolific (over 140 books) writer of both fantasy and science-fiction. Perhaps best known for his Xanth, Adept and Incarnations of Mortality series, he has also brought us Battle Circle (Sos the Rope, Var the Stick, Neq the Sword), Bio of a Space Tyrant (Refugee, Mercenary, Politician, Executive, Statesman, The Iron Maiden) and many more.
So enough of my blether. As Lord William of the Shaking Spear might have said (though probably more eloquently) - on with the motley.
Graeme: Mr Anthony. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I know your time is both valuable and short, so if I may I’ll leap right in with a question. Imagine your best friend’s son or daughter comes to you. They want to try writing. What might you say to them?
Piers Anthony: I would say write if it is in your heart to do so, but don't depend on it for money.
Graeme: If you had to pick just one, what one book (one you didn't write) have you read that you wish you’d written and why?
Piers Anthony: None. I respect what others write but don't covet it.
Graeme: Imagine you were also an author in a previous life. Since you’re you now, that author can’t be alive today. If you could choose who it was, who might it have been and why?
Piers Anthony: George Bernard Shaw, who was a vegetarian, as I am, and a most evocative writer, as I hope I am.
Graeme: If you could be any author not you today, who would you choose and why?
Piers Anthony: I want to be me and no one else.
Graeme: I’m sure there are a hundred, a thousand better questions than mine. If you’d been compiling the list of questions, and knew you as well as you do, what would be the one question I should have asked that you would have enjoyed answering most?
Piers Anthony: I think this thought is not original with me, but it might be: "Mr. Anthony, are you aware that you have just won a famous literary award to which a ten million dollar prize is attached?" Unfortunately I don't expect to be asked that question, except as a joke.
There. That's it. I will now run and hide in a corner while Mr Anthony tells everybody he knows about the lunatic who emailed him :-). And I hope I don’t start a deluge of people emailing successful and busy people to ask them similar questions.
If you want to know a lot more about Piers Anthony, you can find his Blog here:
You can also follow him on Twitter at
His newsletter is here:
I’d like to thank Mr Anthony for his time, his tolerance and his kindness.