It's important to put it like that: not I am a writer, but rather I write stories. If you put the emphasis on yourself rather than your work, you're in danger of thinking that you're the most important thing. But you're not. The story is what matters, and you're only the servant. Your job is to get it out on time and in good order.

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman

Profession: Author
Nationality: British

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And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn't feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the Aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It's worth being cold for that.

You don't win races by wishing, you win them by running faster than everyone else does.

And before I'd got to the end of the first paragraph, I'd come up slap bang against a fundamental problem that still troubles me today whenever I begin a story, and it's this: where am I telling it from?

There is time, and there is what is beyond time. History belongs to time, but truth belongs to what is beyond time.

As Auden is believed to have said, no poem saved a single Jew from the gas chambers. Never mind. Write the poems anyway. Play the music in spite of that.

I had passed through the entire British education system studying literature, culminating in three years of reading English at Oxford, and they'd never told me about something as basic as the importance of point of view in fiction!

Marisa! Marisa! The cry was torn from Lord Asriel, and with the snow leopard beside her, with a roaring in her ears, Lyra's mother stood and found her footing and leapt with all her heart, to hurl herself against the angel and her daemon and her dying lover, and seize those beating wings, and bear them all down together into the abyss.

Finally, and almost simultaneously, the children discovered what it was like to be drunk. Do they like doing this? gasped Roger, after vomiting copiously. Yes, said Lyra, in the same condition. And so do I, she added stubbornly. Lyra.

The idea hovered and shivered delicately, like a soap bubble, and she dared not even look at it directly in case it burst. But she was familiar with the way of ideas, and she let it shimmer, looking away, thinking about something else.

One curious thing about growing up is that you don't only move forward in time; you move backwards as well, as pieces of your parents' and grandparents' lives come to you.

Lyra marvelled at the effect hope could have.

He let her do it, then looked around for his fingers. There they were, curled like a bloody quotation mark on the lead. He laughed.

To be sure, there's a warm passion behind what you say. But if you give in to that passion, friends, you're a doing what I always warned you agin: you're a placing the satisfaction of your own feelings above the work you have to do.

You might not have more courage, but you should be ashamed to show less.