Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels that have sold over 15 million copies worldwide, including The Shadow of the Wind, the most successful novel in Spanish publishing history after Don Quixote. His latest novel is The Angel’s Game. Before chatting about his life and work onstage, he sat down for our In The Green Room Q&A.
Q. What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?
A. Its diversity – that there are people here from all over the world, all mixed together.
Q. Where would we find you at 10 a.m. on a typical Saturday?
A. Asleep. I am not a morning person.
Q. What do you do to clear your mind?
A. I listen to music.
Q. What do you wish you had the nerve to do?
A. A lot of things. I can’t think of one single thing.
Q. What is the last thing that inspired you?
A. Something I read or a piece of music, that’s always what inspires me. The last novel I read was Big Machine by Victor LaValle, which I found very interesting. All these things inspire you in ways you cannot suspect. Eventually, they come up somewhere.
Q. What music have you listened to today?
A. This morning I was listening to Bach, a collection of pieces for piano played by Angela Hewitt, although he didn’t write them for piano, but rather for harpsichord.
Q. When do you feel most creative?
A. At night.
Q. What is your favorite word?
A. I don’t have a specific favorite word. I tend to like kinds of words. I like, for instance, women’s names that begin with ‘I’.
Q. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. A writer.
Q. If you could take only one more journey, where would you go?
A. Around the world, see everything, do all the journeys.
Q. What is your most prized material possession?
A. My brain, which is material in some ways, and I own it. Without it I wouldn’t have any of the other material possessions.
Q. What is the last habit you tried to kick?
A. Caffeine, unsuccessfully.
Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. I tend to spend a lot of money on music.
Q. Who is the one person living or dead you would most like to meet for dinner?
A. John Williams. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time. Many of the people I wanted to meet I have met, but not him.
To read about Zafón’s talk, click here.
*Photo by Aaron Salcido.