|Superman and Batman completely changed Philip Pullman's life. Each night they arrived in full-color, ready to take on bad guys and save the world--all in a few pages. Philip loved reading them because "the combination of words and pictures [made for] vivid storytelling." Comic books made him want to tell stories. When he was growing up, he enjoyed listening to radio shows, too. He also loved Sherlock Holmes, Tore Jansoon, Arthur Ransome and Erich Kastner, and spooky ghost stories. Philip always wanted to be a writer, but learned that there is a big difference between WANTING to be a writer and actually DOING it: "Being a writer is nothing, writing a book is a lot. I wanted to DO, not to BE." That's why he tells kids to quit saying--and hoping--that they want to be writers--they need to just do it! Also, he advises young aspiring writers to read a lot. But most importantly, Philip says that being patient is a crucial factor. He has said, "A book is a marathon, not a sprint....Settle in....Pace yourself." Philip is best known for writing historical fiction and ghost stories. His young-adult trilogy, THE RUBY IN SMOKE, THE SHADOW IN THE NORTH, and THE TIGER IN THE WELL, was what put him "on the map" in the States. Since then, he has written many books for young adults that also appeal to adults as well. His wildly well-received fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, received many positive reviews and a large audience, as well as a feature film deal. When Philip starts writing, he doesn't think about writing for any specific audience, but aims to write something that's entertaining and also presents the idea or theme of social justice, which Philip thinks is very important. When he's not writing, he sleeps, visits art galleries, draws, and even does some carpentry. A fun fact: He always finishes the working day by writing the first sentence on the next page so it's not blank when he begins to write the next day.