Once upon a time, if you wanted to talk about the notion of child abandonment, of a mother not being a good mother, that's built into the mother who sends the babes into the woods, and they use the bits of bread or stones to come home again.
I do see, in some younger writers, elements and things that I have used - and I am very touched and flattered because I am part of a tapestry that is being absorbed by authors.
The best books arise from some ultimate question in the author.
Isn't that what writing is about? The constant attempt to understand the world?
If you look at the body of any writers' work, you can figure out the questions that animate them. I think that is what real writers do. They don't tell people how to live or what to think. They write in order to try to answer their own deepest questions.
The best fantasy does not offer an answer to our lives, it is an offering that acknowledges enough of the truth to resonate and add to the understanding about the human condition.
I wrote my first full book when I was fourteen, and that was 'Obernewtyn.' It was also the first book I had published. It was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to, and it was short listed for Children's Book of the Year in the older readers category in Australia.