are some questions I've been asked. If you have one, I may add it to the
can e-mail me at email@example.com.
long does it take to write a book?
produced a manuscript in about 6-7 months. That includes time when I
set the book aside for a while so I can look at it with fresh eyes. Then the various stages of editing,
where I work with my publisher, take a few more months. Altogether, it's
about 10 months from when I start until I'm completely finished.
was that noise?
cat jumped on top of the credenza and knocked over some of the picture
frames. It's OK, nothing broke.
do you use P.W. Catanese for your authorís name?
Itís not because using the initials makes me sound like a real author.
Simple answer: Thereís another Paul Catanese who writes non-fiction
books about 3D design software, and I didnít want to cause confusion.
So I went with my initials. The W is for William, incidentally.
did you get the idea for your first book?
I started writing The Thief and
the Beanstalk several years ago, I'd been reading a lot of fairy
tales to my kids. I thought about how cool it would be to read a longer,
more exciting and descriptive scene of this giant beanstalk erupting from the ground. So,
just to entertain myself really, I sat down and wrote it. I threw in
this kid and some bad guys, without really knowing who they were or why
they were there. And working backwards and forwards from that, I created
the whole story around it. So a story emerged along with the beanstalk.
At first I thought it might be a short story. But as I kept going, it
became obvious that it would become novel-sized, and finishing it would
take some time.
did you get the idea to make a series out of that?
I wanted to propose a trilogy of ĎBeanstalkí books. The Thief and
the Beanstalk could actually be the first of three books with those characters. My
agent suggested that publishers might be more interested in a series of
standalone stories. So I considered other fairy tales and how those
stories might be extended.
it hurt when you walked into the glass door?
it hurt a lot. I think I almost broke my nose, and one of my teeth was
numb for a few weeks.
Where did the idea for The Books of Umber come from?
Sometimes, ideas come
from other ideas. When I was writing my second book, The Brave
Apprentice, I wrote a scene where a king brings his advisors in to talk
about the trolls that are invading the kingdom. One old scholar mentions
a historian named Umber who has written about trolls... and I really
just pulled that name from nowhere. Umber. But I immediately
started thinking about how interesting it would be to have someone who
was sort of a paranormal investigator in the fairy tale world. Sort of
like the X-Files meets the Brothers Grimm. That was the genesis of The
Books of Umber, but of course the story got much more complex than that,
especially when the character of Happenstance occurred to me.
other authors do you admire?
authors for young readers, Roald
Dahl was the best ever, I think. Louis Sachar's Holes
is a great book. Phillip Pullman (His
Dark Materials trilogy) is a fantastic writer. J.K. Rowling should
be revered for encouraging kids to read. I donít know if my books
would have gotten published if it hadnít been for the interest Harry
Potter has created. If I ever meet her, Iím going to give her a
hug. And then her bodyguards will wrestle me to the ground.
I was a kid, I read a lot of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen
Poe. These days
my favorite authors include Patrick O'Brian and Carl Hiassen.