That interview was published in the Irish Times on Saturday, and a very nice spread it was too. It opened as follows:
Forthright but quietly spoken, understated but unambiguous, Eoin Colfer, the self-deprecating creator of the Artemis Fowl phenomenon, is a bundle of contradictions, writes DECLAN BURKEFor the rest, clickety-click here …
IT COMES AS no surprise to learn that William Goldman is one of Eoin Colfer’s favourite writers. “I think Marathon Man is one of the best thrillers ever written,” he says. “And Goldman also wrote The Princess Bride, which is one of the best fantasy books ever written. It’s amazing that the same guy wrote both, but he also wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Colfer is no slouch himself when it comes to dabbling in different genres. Whether it’s selling 20 million copies of the Artemis Fowl series of books, being shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes with his debut crime-fiction novel for adults, or collaborating on musical theatre before writing the sixth instalment in the “increasingly improbable” Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Colfer has an endless fascination with new forms.
If there is one constant in his work, it’s humour. “I find it very hard not to write humour,” he says. “I feel uncomfortable when no one is talking at a dinner table. I always feel like I’m the one who has to jump in and fill the gap. It was the same when I was writing plays. I was always worried when the audience was silent. Because I wasn’t getting the affirmation, maybe, that it was good. So I would invariably jam in as many jokes as I could. And it’s the same with the books. I’m just afraid that if people don’t laugh all the time they’re not enjoying themselves.”