About Susan Cooper
An Interview with Susan Cooper
More About Susan Cooper
Susan Cooper was born in Buckinghamshire, read English at Oxford and began her career as a reporter and feature-writer for the Sunday Times. She then married an American and moved to the United States. Her sequence of fantasy novels for young adults, The Dark is Rising, has won numerous international awards including the Newbery Medal, and has been translated into eleven languages.
She has written a number of other books for children and adults, a Broadway play, and several films for television and the cinema. She has two children and lives in Fairfield, Connecticut. Her late husband was the Canadian actor Hume Cronyn, who died in 2003.
PLACE AND DATE OF BIRTH:
Burnham, Bucks; 23 May 1935
Come Hither by Walter de la Mare
MOST TREASURED POSSESSION:
A green glass fishing-net flat, found long ago on my favourite beach in Wales.
'The Lady is a Tramp'
A Matter of Life and Death
When did you start writing?
I've been writing ever since I can remember, though not always for publication. When I was about ten I wrote, illustrated and sewed together a very small book - a kind of fairy tale, I think. My uncle found it in a drawer and came and told me that he liked it, and I was so appalled that somebody had read it that I burst into tears and tore it up. I don't do that any more.
Where do you get your ideas?
It's tempting to give cute answers to this, like 'in the bath', but there's no real solution to the riddle. At the back of every writer's head there's a small locked room, where the imagination lives. The room has a door with no handle; you can't open it. But once in a great while, for no apparent reason, the door swings open and an idea pops out, and if you're alert and lucky, you can catch it before it flies away.
Can you give your top three tips to becoming a successful author?
1. Read, read, read.
2. There's no recipe for success, which depends largely on luck, but if you want to write - write. Invent a character, invent a journey for him or her of which you know the ending (but not necessarily the beginning or middle) and start to write.
3. Read, read, read. It's more important now than you can imagine, and you have more
time for it now than you ever will again.
Waking up early in the morning to the feel of lumpy, bumpy objects over my toes, above the quilt, and realising that they were presents (books, probably) spilling out of my Christmas stocking, and that this was the most magical moment in the year, the start of Christmas Day...
Favourite place in the world and why?
A white house on a steep green hill overlooking a blue sea, on a remote island called Great Camanoe in the British Virgin Islands. It's our holiday house, the only stable point in a bounced-around life for my children and me, and I wrote large chunks of The Dark is Rising books there.
What are your hobbies?
Gardening, music, reading.
If you hadn't been a writer, what do you think you would have been?
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