Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.
I used the imaginary kingdom not as a sentimentalized fairyland but as an opening wedge to express what I hoped would be some very hard truths.
In whatever guise - our own daily nightmares of war, intolerance, inhumanity or the struggles of an Assistant Pig-Keeper against the Lord of Death - the problems are agonizingly familiar. And an openness to compassion, love, and mercy is as essential to us here and now as it is to any inhabitant of an imaginary kingdom.
Using the device of an imaginary world allows me in some strange way to go to the central issues - it's one of many ways to express feelings about real people, about real human relationships.
There's this huge number of desperate people.
I guess there's only two possible places ideas can come from. One is the outside: everything that happens to you and everything that you do in life. And the other is the inside part: your own personality and imagination, and no two people are alike, like fingerprints.