In most cases a favorite writer is more with us in his book than he ever could have been in the flesh; since, being a writer, he is one who has studied and perfected this particular mode of personal incarnation, very likely to the detriment of any other. I should like as a matter of curiosity to see and hear for a moment the men whose works I admire; but I should hardly expect to find further intercourse particularly profitable.
Jesus of Nazareth could have chosen simply to express Himself in moral precepts; but like a great poet He chose the form of the parable, wonderful short stories that entertained and clothed the moral precept in an eternal form. It is not sufficient to catch man's mind, you must also catch the imaginative faculties of his mind.
I got to the point where the vampire began describing his brother's death, and the whole thing just exploded! Suddenly, in the guise of Louis, a fantasy figure, I was able to touch the reality that was mine. It had something to do with growing up in New Orleans, this strange, decadent city full of antebellum houses. It had something to do with my old-guard Catholic background. It had something to do with the tragic loss of my daughter and with the death of my mother when I was fourteen. Through Louis' eyes, everything became accessible. But I didn't ask when I was writing what it meant; I only asked if it felt authentic. There was an intensity--an intensity that's still there when I write about those characters. As long as it is there, I will go on with them. In some way they are a perfect metaphor for me.
I don't believe in it. All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don't get plumber's block, and doctors don't get doctor's block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?http://www.philip-pullman.com/about_the_writing.asp
The trouble with writing a book about yourself is that you can't fool around. If you write about someone else, you can stretch the truth from here to Finland. If you write about yourself the slightest deviation makes you realize instantly that there may be honor among thieves, but you are just a dirty liar.
As a man has no right to kill one of his children if it is diseased or insane, so a man who has made the gradual and conscious expression of his personality in literature the aim of his life, has no right to suppress himself any carefully considered work which seemed good enough when it was written. Suppression, if it is deserved, will come rapidly enough from the same causes that suppress the unworthy members of a man's family.