As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don’t think it’s the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means. The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader’s mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I’m not going to explain. Anyway, I’m not in the message business; I’m in the Once upon a time business.

However, I suppose there are things I can say about the books I’ve written I can say why I enjoyed writing them, perhaps, or why I did something one way rather than another.

So here goes.

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