Author Terry Pratchett Talks About J.K.Rowling
Nov 07, 2004
In a recent interview with The Age, best-selling fantasy author Terry Pratchett talks about fellow writer J.K. Rowling. The article discusses his fantasy books,then moves to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings of which Terry Pratchett says:
“I probably still venerate Tolkien but I don’t consider him to be the greatest author that has ever been in the world. He wrote an absolutely magnificent book that is firmly based in its time and you could not write the Lord of Rings again. There’s a difference between immensely and deservedly popular and the best. I don’t think I would vote the Lord of Rings as the best book ever written.”
Then the article turns to Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling, where Terry Pratchett is asked if he thinks that JKR is a good author:
He hesitates. “I’ve never actually been asked that question.” With a marked change in vocal tone, he says: “I think of her as a good and competent writer, a phrase that I would apply to myself as well.”
A very diplomatic answer. “I am being political simply because I’m painfully aware that not you, but plenty of people would love, ‘Pratchett slams Rowling’ as a headline. I’ve given what I consider a true answer.
“Easing on to a slightly easier facet of that situation is, people say, ‘aren’t you jealous of J.K. Rowling?’ to which my reply is, ‘I never dreamed I’d make any kind of money out of writing fantasy because not many people do. I never dreamt I’d become a millionaire out of writing fantasy.’
“It’s luck. OK, there’s a level of competency that is required. (But) it’s down to luck and arriving at the publisher at the right time when the wind is blowing in the right direction.
So if you think that you’ve been lucky enough to win at the roulette wheel you certainly aren’t jealous of someone who’s been lucky to win on the baccarat tables next door. It’s all ultimately, within reason, a kind of crap shoot.
“There are better writers than me and J.K. Rowling who aren’t particularly financially successful.”