Michael Morpurgo wrote “War Horse” in 1982. In a question-and-answer interview with the Daily Telegraph in London, he reveals that sales of the book are now well over one million copies.
Previously, “War Horse” – the sixth book by Morpurgo – had sold 2000 copies a year at best. “That was the maximum, and my publishers, bless their hearts, kept it in print, along with all my books,” he said.
He revealed that, even though he started writing in 1972, it became commercially viable to him “not that long ago, really”.
The commercial success of “War Horse” began with the stage adaptation of the book, which, complete with life-size horse puppets, proved a huge hit for Britain’s National Theatre.
The stage version has been taken overseas and is already an international hit.
Steven Spielberg then bought the movie rights for the book. His screen epic first screened in the United States at Christmas.
Asked how “War Horse” had changed his life, Morpurgo said: “It has made all the difference in the world. The most important gift it has given us is not to have to worry about money, because there has always been a slight anxiety. It has been wonderful for my pension, and has allowed us to ensure our grandchildren’s education. And we’ve been able to donate to our own charity, Farms for City Children.”
The full interview can be read here.