Home | English | International | Non-English | School & Library | More
Enter the world of Magic Lands:
1. The Story Begins | 2. The Story Continues | 3. The Truth Be Told
Blog & News
Robert Stanek’s Blog
Robert Stanek & RA Salvatore
Robert Stanek & Brian Jacques
Interview from 2005 titled
"From Sin City to Sovereign Rule"
Interview from 2008 titled
"The Dawn of the Ages"
Interview from 2002 titled
"The Creation of an Epic World"
Chat Thread #1: Nov 2003 - Jan 2004
Chat Thread #2: Feb 2004 - Jun 2004
Chat Thread #3: Jul 2004 - Jan 2005
Chat Thread #4: Jul 2005 - Nov 2005
Close-up With Robert Stanek and Brian Jacques
Brian Jacques and Robert Stanek at a recent book signing.
Photo shows Robert Stanek and his family, and Brian Jacques.
This photo was taken by H. Stanek in Olympia, Washington.
Brian Jacques's Fall 2005 book tour took him across the Western United States, through California, Oregon, and Washington. As Jacques's tour was winding down Robert and Brian met at a book event where Brian spoke at length about his childhood in Liverpool, England. In his youth, Brian's family was very poor and he went to Catholic school where the nuns frequently whacked him and other children. He chuckled when he told stories of the play yard on top of the school's flat roof and of the teacher, a nun, who said of him, "There's the devil in that child."
Brian's writing draws on many of his childhood experiences. In the stories he read as a child, the authors never wrote about what the characters were eating. They'd always say the king or such gave a great feast, but would never say what the characters were eating or whether the characters were satisfied. He decided to remedy that in his Redwall books by writing detailed accounts of what the characters feasted on and whether they were satisfied.
Growing up poor and hungry are things Robert Stanek understands all too well. In his childhood, there were often days and weeks where meals consisted of flour and water pancakes. As with Brian Jacques, one of the ways Robert Stanek escaped the hardships of his childhood was through the books he read. Books opened windows to new worlds, peoples, and places. Robert's characters too tend to enjoy their share of feasts with the merriment of a feast often being part of the story.
Robert also had a particular nasty experience with a ruler-whacking teacher--a former Catholic school teacher who thought only evil children wrote with their left hand. Robert remains, of course, left handed to this day.
Later in life, Brian worked many odds jobs. He even worked as a long distance truck driver. His encounter with two extraordinarily old men outside a pub would become the basis for the moles in his stories. For you see, these two old men ramble talked and their words were barely understandable. His work with blind children is what got him started writing and is what helped ensure his work was highly detailed, for he wanted to paint pictures with words in such a way that any child--blind or sighted--could understand the story.
In fact, Brian says that is what a writer is: someone who can paint pictures with words. Of course, a writer is also someone who can tell a good yarn, and Brian certainly manages to do this in his Redwall books, including his latest: High Rhulain. He's also recently published The Redwall Cookbook.
To learn more about Brian Jacques, visit Redwall Abbey.
Illustration (c) Sean Rubin
The Redwall books include:
Mariel of Redwall
Martin the Warrior
Outcast of Redwall
Pearls of Lutra
The Long Patrol
The Legend of Luke
Get Brian's books at Amazon.com, BN.com, or your favorite bookstore. To contact Robert Stanek, write or send an email. Hope to hear from you!
Learn more about the author at www.robertstanek.com.
Enter the world of Robert Stanek's Ruin Mist at www.ruinmist.com.
Visit the publisher at www.reagentpress.com.
(c) 2002-2006 Robert Stanek. All Rights Reserved.