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Michael Morpurgo 'needs real stories to write'

25th November 2009

Children's author Michael Morpurgo has revealed that he needs to base his books on a real story.

Morpurgo told Reuters that the starting point of all his books is always an actual event, citing the example of his novel Running Wild, which was inspired by an elephant that saved a boy from the 2004 Asian tsunami.

'It is just the way I write. I have to root my stories in something I find utterly credible. I don't have the kind of imagination to write something like Harry Potter,' the 66-year-old explained.

He added that he does not read piles of newspapers to find his inspiration, instead preferring to keep his eyes and ears open for any chance stories that could lead to a new book.

The writer also said the idea for his next novel was sparked when his wife heard of a woman who saved an elephant from being shot in Belfast in 1943.

Morpurgo has written more than 100 books, such as This Morning I Met a Whale and Gentle Giant, and recommends his fans read Geoff Fox's biography Dear Mr Morpingo to find out how he gained his interest in literature.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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