Michael Morpurgo answers your questions | Children's books | The Guardian
Despite the pain Tommo feels over Molly and Charlie's relationship, it is Molly, who Tommo also loves, he realises that he cannot be separated from him. Tips. The first chapter opens with Charlie and Tommo walking to school. .. love Simple ways to nurture and strengthen your relationship while avoiding the habits. Tommo and Charlie's early life is dominated by Grandma Wolf and the Colonel. How does Michael Morpurgo make us dislike these characters?.
The funny thing about that time is that although I knew I was skint, and sometimes felt it quite acutely, nearly everybody else I knew at Uni was skint too.
Readers' notes: Private Peaceful - Telegraph
A housemate once had to abandon half her food shopping in Tesco because she ended up running out of money to pay for it all. But because everybody was in the same boat, it never seemed so bad.
We were in it together. We challenged things together. And bonding over it could sometimes be funny. This all passed through my head as Marc and I stood outside the pub, tightening our coats around ourselves, deciding on whether or not to get the bus. While writing this book, I felt very passionately about this and got involved by sending letters to people like Cherie Blair to highlight the issue. The story of Private Peaceful seemed to act as a catalyst, and when an official in charge saw it performed on stage, he was so deeply moved that he championed the pardon.
It does mean you can make a little difference, whether you are writing a book or you are part of a protest group, says Michael. War is a common theme in his books and Michael broaches subjects such as the Holocaust, Spanish Civil War and the forced emigrations of British orphans banished to Australia his book Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea also resulted in a public apology from Gordon Brown to all the children sent to Australia.
Michael admits he does not lay on the full horror of war, but he describes it without justifying it, without it becoming entertainment. Dont tie the reality up in a pink ribbon. Children might cry but if you explain it sensitively that is fine. He is used to communicating with children, teaching in schools or through his charity, Farms for City Children, and he understands that children dont want to be patronised. You have to talk to them straight. Small children need stories so they go to sleep happy.
As they grow up, they like a bit of a tingle but the story always has a happy ending. Then older children start being aware of problems in the world and they dont want to be corralled. Michaels stories relate directly to children, and there is always redemption. There should be a sense of hope. Even in Private Peaceful, which is the saddest of all my stories, one of the brothers survives. It also says he is marching off towards the Somme, so adults may realise what is implied but a child hopes it ends happily.
Private Peaceful on Screen: Royal Premiere in London 12 October: General release Until 29 september7. I try to interpret it in such a way as to make it exciting and meaningful, both to me and to a modern audience.
When I am writing a retelling I do feel in some way that I am like an actor. The story is not mine, but I am the one living it, interpreting it.
So I tell it as I see it, as I feel it. I really enjoy this feeling. Retelling is also a wonderful exercise for me in between my other books. These old stories have stood the test of time, thousands of years sometimes.
I can learn from them, just as an artist can learn from copying great pictures. Each time I do this, it reminds me how the best of storytelling should be, and I find that truly inspirational, and instructive too. When you are writing, you should be learning all the time and hopefully having fun if you can. There is so much I can learn from these amazing stories. You often write about animals - why are they so important to you and which is your favourite animal?
You write a lot about animals, can you tell me why you write so much about them?
Irish Eyes I am really interested in the relationship between animals and humans. Animals are sentient, intelligent, perceptive, funny and entertaining. We owe them a duty of care as we do to children.
Animals, like children, aren't in a position of power as we are as adults, and it is our duty to care for them. I think they often bring out the best in us because they listen without passing judgment and accept us for who we are without prejudice.
For some people, this can be the most important relationship — a loving and uncomplicated one.
I think my fascination with animals also came partly from my life. Many years ago my wife and I moved to Devon with our children to set up an educational charity, called Farms for City Children, that would welcome children from the inner cities to come and live and work on a farm for a week. We would have school groups of 30 to 40, and with their teachers, they would effectively become farmers, milking, feeding pigs and calves and mucking out the sheds.
Watching these children and the animals they were caring for and living amongst, I was inspired to write many of my stories, including War Horse, Which one of your books have you read the most times? This is because I perform concerts of these books either with orchestral musicians — most recently the London Pilharmonic Orchestra with The Mozart Question, or with Coope Boyes and Simpson who are wonderful folk singers, and also in the case of War Horse, with two amazing musicians, John Tams the songmaker in the play of War Horse and Barry Coope.
I read the stories and they weave songs around my words. Keep your eye on my website to see where the concerts will be this year.
How do you know when your writing has enough detail in it or when it becomes over the top and uninteresting? How do you resolve writer's block?
Tjala First, I don't get writer's block. If I feel I'm going nowhere, I go for a long walk to think things through, to the sheep sometimes!
Anna Turns talks to Michael Morpurgo about Iddesleigh and his new film Private Peaceful
It you believe in writer's block, you'll get it! Best cure for writer's block. Tell you story out loud to some sheep. They'll listen to anything!!
- See a Problem?
- Anna Turns talks to Michael Morpurgo about Iddesleigh and his new film Private Peaceful
As for knowing when to stop: I write quite instinctively, telling the story down onto the page, trying not to worry about it. Then after a chapter I'll read it out aloud — very important for me — and that usually tells me where I've gone on too much. I find I often have to cut my favourite bits out. But writing isn't about showing a reader how clever you are with words.
You're just telling a story! What was your favourite story as a child? I was not an avid reader at all. I liked comics and being read to, and listening to stories. This was the first real book I read for myself. Jim Hawkins was the first character I identified with totally. I lived this book as I read it. Readaholic When I was younger I would have said a rugby player.
I loved rugby — still do. But if I am honest I would love to be an actor. My real father was an actor, as was my mother, and it's in my blood. I love the theatre which has made the journey for War Horse from my original story to the successful play all the more incredible for me. Have you got a special room for writing? Do you wear special clothes or do special things before you write?
Adrii We have built a special tea-house in the garden, which is very light and airy and a great place to write. It's quiet there too as there's no phone. I write upstairs in the tea-house sitting on a bed, with lots of cushions supporting my back and arms.
I often write in the morning and then go for a long walk in the fields around our home in the afternoon with my wife. It really helps to have this time for the stories to weave themselves in my head. Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has said that she wouldn't be in the position she is now if it hadn't been for public libraries. What are your views on proposals to close libraries nationwide?