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Alan Dean Foster

  • American author
  • Born November 18, 1946

Alan Dean Foster (born November 18, 1946) is an American writer of fantasy and science fiction, who has written several book series, more than 20 standalone novels and many faithful novelizations of film scripts.


Living gives you a better understanding of life. I would hope that my characters have become deeper and more rounded personalities. Wider travels have given me considerably greater insight into how cultural differences affect not only people, but politics and art.




Besides the mistakes that are pointed out, I love the way readers become involved with the characters. When readers start asking about character motivations instead of concentrating on the special effects, it means you're connecting with them on a personal level.




Don't try to write to the trend of the moment.




I enjoy listening to classical music and heavy metal. I play basketball and try to go diving at least once a year. I don't really have hobbies in the traditional sense... I engage in too many activities already through the actions of my characters.




I hear entire symphonies, oratorios, in my head, but I can't write a note.




Dawn was written well before 9/11. People speak a lot today about the banality of evil, but not all evil is banal. Some of it is carefully structured and well-thought-out. That's where the real danger lies.




I try to challenge myself as much as possible, as often as possible.




Keep writing. Try to do a little bit every day, even if the result looks like crap. Getting from page four to page five is more important than spending three weeks getting page four perfect.




I've been writing full-time since 1978.




I see the Jedi mission as giving up a normal life in exchange for protecting the innocent. It's a life of sacrifice. There are rewards, but also a certain degree of sterility.




In one book, CACHALOT, just for my own amusement, every character is based directly on someone I have known.




Writing allows me the time to travel and see the world, which is what I always wanted to do. I'd really like to have been Sir Richard Francis Burton, but it's the wrong century.




How much research I have to do depends on the nature of the story. For fantasy, none at all.




Getting inside the mind of a terrorist wasn't difficult at all. Even as children, human beings fabricate elaborate revenge fantasies. We're not a particular species. Check out popular video games.




Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.




I have a bad tendency to get rapidly bored with my own material, so rewriting is hard for me. I mean, I already know the story and would rather read something new.




Growing up, I never gave a thought to being a writer. All I ever wanted to be was a traveler and explorer. Science-fiction allowed me to go places that were otherwise inaccessible, which is why I started reading it. I was going to be a lawyer, but I got saved.




I usually do one con a year as a GoH and try to make the World Fantasy Convention for business purposes. Last year I went to a worldcon for the first time in two decades. I may go again this year.




There's certainly more new SF available than when I started writing. That means there's also more bad SF available. Whether there is also more good is a matter for future historians of the field.




The overwhelming triumph of the international multimedia conglomerate has resulted in less diversity within the field and has made it much harder for newer writers not only to break in, but to make any kind of a living while doing so.




I write early in the morning, usually after reading portions of at least half a dozen newspapers on the web.




Advances have fallen, generally, for everything except the biggest potential bestsellers. Given all the changes, both economic and technological, SF hasn't done too badly.



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