In The LibraryIn The Attic

‘There is always witchcraft’
A Q&A with Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is one of the world’s most read and best-loved writers. He is the author of seven novels including The Shadow of the Wind, his work has been translated into more than 40 languages, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. So imagine our excitement when he dropped by One Book Lane for a chat!

Marina, the Gothic novel Carlos wrote just before The Shadow of the Wind and a cult classic in his native Spain is out now in paperback, eBook and  audio.

Who is your favourite author?

I’m genetically incapable of answering these specific questions with accuracy. I’m much like a child in a candy shop to whom you asked “if you had to choose the one favourite piece of candy, what would that be…?”

What book do you most often recommend to friends?

I recommend that they pick up something beyond their comfort zone, something they’ve never heard about and that they venture into its pages to sense the perfume of the prose, the texture…

Do you have any writing rituals?

The classics: Trying not to write, procrastinating like a champion and finding a myriad excuses to avoid getting any work claiming some ridiculous reason or other. If that does not work there is always witchcraft.

If you weren’t a writer what job would you liked to have gone into?

I’d probably be a musician.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Working the beauty of language, creating worlds and characters and stories that seep into the readers’ brain (or die trying) hoping to rearrange the furniture… and reading royalty statements, a pleasure I cannot commend highly enough.

What one item could you not live without?


Tell us something that will shock your readers?

I think Cole Porter solved this one best some time ago with his bombproof verses: In older times a glimpse of stocking was something shocking but nowadays heaven knows, anything goes…

What makes you happy?

Making those I love happy. Also, achieving some peace of mind here and there. A morsel will do.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Life’s extremely short. Live it, don’t surf through it.

The members of my dream book club would be . . .

Decent , smart people who loved books and had a sense of the beauty of the written word. I’m not picky.

Marina is out now in paperback, eBook and audio. Listen to an audio extract here. 

Marina is out now in paperback, eBook and audio.