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My family pleaded with me to forget literature and do something sensible, such as find some sort of useful work.


We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.


Eventually, I was sent to Wales and Germany, and after the war, to Paris.


My parents were horrified when I told them I wanted to be an author.


There's this huge number of desperate people.


It was 1943. The U.S. had already entered World War II, so I decided to join the army.


All that writers can do is keep trying to say what is deepest in their hearts.


I loved all the world's mythologies.


My concern is how we learn to be genuine human beings.


When I was discharged, I attended the University of Paris and met a beautiful Parisian girl, Janine. We soon married and eventually returned to the States.


I decided that adventure was the best way to learn about writing.


I first wrote for adults, but when I started writing for young people, it was the most creative and liberating experience of my life.


King Arthur was one of my heroes - I played with a trash can lid for a knightly shield and my uncle's cane for the sword Excalibur.


Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, and so many others were my dearest friends and greatest teachers.


After seven years of writing - and working many jobs to support my family - I finally got published.


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