Andy Field interviews acclaimed children’s author, Brian Jacques. Jacques was best known for his Redwall series, a set of fantasy novels that told the story of anthropomorphic animals who could speak. There are 22 books in total, which have been sold worldwide and have been translated into many languages.
The idea for Redwall came about when Brian was a truck driver, delivering milk to the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. They were often given books for the teachers to read to them, but Brian felt they didn’t have as much magic as children stories could do, so he started writing his own for them. Because of the nature of his first audience, he made his style of writing as descriptive as possible, painting pictures with words so that the schoolchildren could see them in their imaginations. He remained a patron of the school until his death.
Jacques’ writing gained acclaim when his childhood English teacher, Alan Durband, read Redwall, and showed it to a publisher without telling Brian. This event led to a contract for the first five books in the Redwall series, and a dedication to Alan in the front of several Redwall books.