I was wondering, All the
hares say Wot! Wot! What does Wot! mean?
They say wot wot because I
like it, it sounds like British upper classtwaddle, and that is basically the
hare character. It is properly spelt "what what".
Why did you choose an Abbey instead
of, say, a castle? Are there more of them in England?
I chose an abbey because it
is a place of peace and tranquility, where ordinarily the cares of a busy and
frantic world do not intrude.
Do you draw the maps that are
in the front of your books yourself, or do you tell the artist what to draw?
Yes, I draw them in brief,
and then the artist redraws the beautiful ones which appear at the front of the
Why do you call the abbey
young ones Dibbuns? Does it mean anything?
It is a made up word for
babies. It fits well I think.
How do you think of names for
characters? I try to write stories (not always Redwall stories), but have
trouble thinking of names for characters.
Many are made up from
anagrams of people I know, and others just sound like the character to me.
Some, of course, are real names for the animals that they are given to, but in
other languages: Plumpen for instance is the Dutch word for Dormouse.
When you compose the songs
that some characters in your delightful books sing, do you have melodies for
them or are they just poetry?
They all have tunes in my
head and I sing them to myself.
Considering that some of the
names that are found in Redwall are also found in the Bible (Matthias and
Methuselah, for example), did you mean to create any parallels between the two?
If so, what are some plot points that you can tell us about in Redwall that you
got from the Bible?
No parallels are intended.
The Biblical names are strong and resonant, and many of them are also family
names in my home.
Do you have any superstitions
about writing? For instance, do you wear pink bunny slippers, write at a
certain time and place, or have to be facing some direction?
I like to write in my garden
preferably but not exclusively in good weather. I have a certain pen and a very
old typewriter. Nothing else makes me feel comfortable.
Considering that you started
out writing Redwall stories for the blind, have any of your books ever been
published in Braille? If so, which ones?
Each of my books is available
to the National Library for the Blind here in Britain and each has been
translated into Braille as it has been published. The Library runs a free lending
service to all blind people here and does tremendous work.