Book Talk: Spain's Carlos Ruiz Zafon just wants to write

Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:12am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Spanish novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafon said the success of his first adult novel was overwhelming, leading to several years of travel and little else, but now he's back to what he does best -- writing.

"The Shadow of the Wind" has sold more than 12 million copies in 50 countries since 2001, making Zafon one of the most successful contemporary Spanish writers and his book supposedly the second biggest-selling Spanish book after Don Quixote.

But it is only now that Zafon, 44, has released his second novel in English, "The Angel's Game," a prequel to "The Shadow of the Wind" which is set in Barcelona in the 1920s and follows a young writer approached by a mysterious figure to write a book.

Both of his books have been translated by Lucia Graves, the daughter of poet Robert Graves.

He spoke to Reuters about his two adult novels that followed four young adult novels written when he was a script writer in Los Angeles:

Q: There's a long gap between books. Why is that?

A: "When I finish a book I take about a year off and I have been doing this for many years. At the end of that year "The Shadow of the Wind" started to be a success. At the time I had agreed to go to some places to help promote the book. My life became mortgaged for two or three years and I was traveling for the book, talking rather than writing. But at some point I had to put an end to it. It got out of control. I'm a writer not a talker."

Q: Was it hard to go back to writing after such a break?   Continued...