Literary Birthday – 11 January – Jasper Fforde

Happy Birthday, Jasper Fforde, born 11 January 1961.


  1. Agents and publishers only want one thing – good writing.
  2. If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution.
  3. For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.
  4. After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colours of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer’s breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer – perhaps more.
  5. Fiction wouldn’t be much fun without its fair share of scoundrels, and they have to live somewhere.
  6. Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It’s the crack cocaine of the literary world.
  7. I work very much on the principle that anything created by mankind has mischief and error hardwired into its inception.
  8. I would so hate to be a first-person character! Always on your guard, always having people read your thoughts!
  9. Prejudice is a product of ignorance that hides behind barriers of tradition.
  10. In the creative industries, there are few things more exciting than a zinger – a thought, idea, line, plot device – anything really, that just totally works in a fundamentally new and fresh way. It’s like a uniquely lovely melody or a new taste idea in cooking. Something special, something new, something wonderful. They’re also very rare.
  11. The fun one can have writing books about books is limitless, to be honest.
  12. History has rewritten itself so many times I’m not really sure how it was to begin with — it’s a bit like trying to guess the original colour of a wall when it’s been repainted eight times.
  13. There is a contract between the reader and the writer. The readers give me their hard-earned cash, and I have to entertain them.
  14. Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time.
  15. Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head.

Jasper Fforde is a British novelist who is is known for his Thursday Next novels, which began with The Eyre Affair in 2001. He has written several books in the Nursery Crime series and has begun two more series, The Last Dragonslayer and Shades of Grey.

Source for photo: Author’s Website Free Images Picture credit: Mari Fforde

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 11th January 2015