Brian Jacques Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Brian Jacques
Photo by British Broadcasting Co.

Brian Jacques

How to pronounce Brian Jacques: jakes (rhymes with makes)

An interview with Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques shares where he gets his ideas and inspiration, when he started writing, and what he did before becoming a writer.

Brian Jacques (pronounced ‘jakes’)

15 June 1939

Liverpool, England

The works of Mario Puzo, Damon Runyon, and P. G. Wodehouse are amongst Brian’s favourites. That is when he has time to read!

As you may already know Brian loves opera, but all music is a must ‘I could not live without music’

Teddy. Brian’s West Highland Terrier!

When did Brian start writing?
Brian knew from an early age, 10 years old in fact, that he would become a writer. Asked to write a story on his first day at school, Brian wrote a story about a bird that cleaned a crocodile’s teeth. His teacher refused to believe that a ten-year-old could write that well, claming that the young Brian copied the story. When Brian protested his innocence he was branded a ‘liar’. It was then that Brian realised he had a talent for writing and indeed wanted to be a writer.

Where does Brian get his ideas and inspiration from?
Taking ‘Teddy’, the family dog for a walk is one of Brian’s favourite ways of clearing his mind for new ideas. Quite often ideas come to him in his dreams as well.

Brian’s favourite place in the world:
The place where all the writing takes place. Most of Brian’s writing is created outside, seated in a corner, under the lilac bush, next to the dwarf apple tree. Brian does all of his writing here on an old typewriter rescued from a shipping office. If it rains, out comes the patio umbrella or Brian and the typewriter move into a specially constructed conservatory. Tuesday to Friday is set aside for working on Brian’s current book. On average twelve pages a day can be written, but if inspiration hits him a massive twenty-five pages can be produced. Monday is when Brian answers your fan mail.

What are Brian’s hobbies?
Phew, with all the writing Brian does it leaves him little time for hobbies – I have heard that he is quite partial to a crossword though! Oh and there is always time for taking Teddy for a walk!

What did Brian do before he became a writer?
Before becoming a writer Brian had many jobs. He’s worked as a merchant seaman, a railway fireman, a long-distance lorry driver, a boxer, a policeman, a postmaster and a stand-up comic. At one point in the 1960’s he and six friends, including two of his brothers, formed a folk singing group known as The Liverpool Fishermen! Nowadays as well as writing, Brian hosts his own radio show, Jakestown.

Brian’s top tip to writing:
Paint. That’s the magic word. Paint pictures with words. That’s the greatest advice I can give anybody. Paint the pictures with words. The picture will appear in the imagination so the person reading it can say, "I can see that".

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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