MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Lemony Snicket Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket

An interview with Lemony Snicket

A pithy and not particularly revealing interview with the author of the desperately depressing Series of Unfortunate Events books.

How did you start writing A Series of Unfortunate Events?
For various personal and legal reasons, I began researching the terrible things that happened to the three Baudelaire children following the death of their parents. The good people at HarperCollins offered to publish my findings, both as cautionary tales and for the general good. Did your own childhood inspire aspects or events in your books? What happened to me in my childhood in no way resembles what has happened to the Baudelaire orphans. When I was very young, however, I was taught the power of the written word and the importance of exposing evil wherever I found it, which are two of my highest guiding principles.

Did your own childhood inspire aspects or events in your books?
What happened to me in my childhood in no way resembles what has happened to the Baudelaire orphans. When I was very young, however, I was taught the power of the written word and the importance of exposing evil wherever I found it, which are two of my highest guiding principles.

What were some of your hobbies as a child?
Taxidermy and playing the harpsichord.

How do young people respond to your books?
People, young and old, have responded to my books with a mixture of shock, horror, melancholy, resignation, and enthusiasm.

What was your favorite book as a child?
Dino Buzzati’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily.

What advice do you give to children who want to be writers?
Avoid wearing squeaky shoes when listening at keyholes.

What do you do to prepare to write?
I look at the only photograph I have of my beloved Beatrice, and I say to myself: If you do not write these books, her wrongful death will go unpunished.

Are you a real person?
Of course. Aren’t you?

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

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