Michael Morpurgo

Literary Birthday – 5 October – Michael Morpurgo


Happy Birthday, Michael Morpurgo, born 5 October 1943

Michael Morpurgo answers your questions

  1. How many books have you written? Over one hundred. Private Peaceful was the hundredth. Sound a lot but that’s fat ones, thin ones. All sorts.
  2. Where do you write? On my bed where I’m most comfortable. I pile the pillows up behind me, settle back and write by hand with my exercise book on my knees.
  3. Are the stories true? With each one there is an element of truth. I weave different truths into the same story to make another kind of truth.
  4. What is the favourite book that you have written? The Butterfly Lion or Kensuke’s Kingdom or War Horse or Private Peaceful.
  5. Who’s your favourite author? Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island), Rudyard Kipling (The Just So Stories) and Ted Hughes (The Iron Man).
  6. How long does it take to write a book? I usually spend several months dreaming it up in my head – I call it my ‘dreamtime’, the most important part of my story inventing when I try to weave the story together, do my research and find the right voice for the story. Once I begin writing, I write very fast and will finish a book in two or three months. Then revising it might take another month. So, on average, a novel takes upwards of 6 months to write.

Read: Michael Morpurgo’s 10 Rules For Writers

Michael Morpurgo, OBE, is an English author, poet, playwright and librettist, best known for his work in children’s literature. He was the third Children’s Laureate. He is the author of War Horse.

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by Amanda Patterson

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