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Margaret Mahy's Quotes

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Born: 1936-03-21
Profession: Author
Nation: New Zealander
Biography of Margaret Mahy

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When I was a child I had a best friend who lived across the road from me. When her mother died unexpectedly it was like losing a member of my own family. I think I am still affected by the memory of that loss.

Tags: Best, Family, Mother

When you are reading, someone has done a lot of work on your behalf, someone has had ideas and has then written and corrected and improved them so that they can be shared.

Tags: Done, Someone, Work

When you are writing, of course, you have to do all that writing and correcting for yourself. When I was a librarian it was expected that I would know about a wide range of books.

Tags: Books, Writing, Yourself

Writing for young children I find I often use particular jokes with words and exaggerated, funny events, but some of these haunt the more complex stories for older children too.

Tags: Children, Funny, Writing

I hope I am not too repetitive. However, coming to terms with death is part of the general human situation.

Tags: Death, Hope, Human

In a way, the characters often do take over.

Tags: Characters, Often

There are certainly times when my own everyday life seems to retreat so the life of the story can take me over. That is why a writer often needs space and time, so that he or she can abandon ordinary life and 'live' with the characters.

Tags: Life, Time, Why

Every writer has to find their own way into writing.

Tags: Writer, Writing

I, personally, have found reading a continual support to writing.

Tags: Reading, Support, Writing

New Zealand is the only country I know well enough to write about. It can sometimes lead to complications.

Tags: Country, Enough, Sometimes

Anyone interested in the world generally can't help being interested in young adult culture - in the music, the bands, the books, the fashions, and the way in which the young adult community develops its own language.

Tags: Help, Music, Young

At the same time, I think books create a sort of network in the reader's mind, with one book reinforcing another. Some books form relationships. Other books stand in opposition. No two writers or readers have the same pattern of interaction.

Tags: Book, Mind, Time

At this stage I am not involved with young adults as closely as many other writers. My children are grown up and my grandchildren are still quite young.

Tags: Children, Quite, Young

Being a librarian certainly helped me with my writing because it made me even more of a reader, and I was always an enthusiastic reader. Writing and reading seem to me to be different aspects of a single imaginative act.

Tags: Reading, Single, Writing

By the time ordinary life asserted itself once more, I would feel I had already lived for a while in some other lifetime, that I had even taken over someone else's life.

Tags: Life, Someone, Time

Ellis's understanding of himself and the world around him certainly develops because of his adventures, and part of that development comes through recognizing other people for what they are.

Tags: Adventures, Him, Himself

I am really chained to my computer these days so I work in my bedroom, which is a room I have worked in for years and years. It is just as much an office as a bedroom, and during the day, my bed is rather like an extension of my desk.

Tags: Days, Rather, Work

I don't think I prefer writing for one age group above another. I am just as pleased with a story which I feel works well for very small children as I do with a story for young adults.

Tags: Age, Children, Writing

I had to wait for a long time before I could support myself with writing. However, being a writer is what I have most wanted to be, from the time I was a child.

Tags: Time, Wait, Writing

I once knew a house rather like The Land of Smiles - an old house occupied by a varied collection of young people, mainly students. However none of these people were true models for the characters in the book, though their way of life may have been.

Tags: Book, Life, True
Much more quotes by Margaret Mahy below the page.

I think I am too interested in my own ideas to copy anyone else's, but I find that other people's imagery, the flow of language in the outside world, games with words, and ideas about relationships are all most important to me.

Tags: Anyone, Else, Words

I was able to work out all sorts of attitudes to style and event and character, all of which affected the way I came to think about my own writing. I believe that all good writers are original.

Tags: Character, Good, Work

I've never actually been a fighter myself - fighting tires me out and I'm not an efficient fighter anyway - but I have certainly seen other people have great complicated goes at one another.

Tags: Another, Fighting, Great

It can certainly happen that characters in more sophisticated stories can 'take over' as they develop and change the author's original ideas. Well, it certainly happens to me at times.

Tags: Change, Happen, Times

It is a good idea to know which publishers publish which stories. For example, there is no sense in sending a picture book text to a publisher who does not publish picture books.

Tags: Book, Good, Sense

My theory is that I decided to be a writer when I was about seven, but of course it is not as simple as that. Like most writers, I had to work at other things to earn a living and wrote mainly in the evenings, often very late at night, for many years.

Tags: Night, Simple, Work

Of course there are big differences in length and character and vocabulary, but each level has its particular pleasures when it comes to the words one can use and the way one uses them.

Tags: Big, Character, Words

The novels take longer to write than the picture book texts, and they do take a different sort of concentration. However, a very short, simple story that works well is just as exciting to me as any longer and more complex book.

Tags: Book, Short, Simple

They are imaginary characters. But perhaps not solely the products of my imagination, since there are some aspects of the characters that relate to my own experience of a wide variety of people.

Tags: Experience, Perhaps, Since