Skip to Content

'The entertaining, immersive qualities of writing'

26 August 2013

'The size of the book was a real surprise to me. It just kept growing and growing. My publishers would be able to tell you that I had been lying to them about when the book was going to be ready for the last three years. But I'm much more interested in the entertaining, immersive qualities of writing than I am with more abstract formal qualities. It might be a weird thing to say, given the architecture of The Luminaries, but I would much rather read an entertaining novel that is simply written, than an extremely lush novel that is difficult...

In a way The Luminaries is a good training for YA becasue it's so intensely plotted, and it's about learning how to navigate and satisfy readers' expectations and their desires - which are not necessarily the same thing. In fact, they are often really different. Now that I know how much fun it is to work out a mystery plot, I'm a little bit hooked.

Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries, which has just been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize