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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