Terence David John Pratchett is a British novelist of the fantasy genre giving a somewhat comical touch to it. He also writes science fiction and children’s books. Pratchett was born on 28th of April 1948 in the town of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. In 1957 his family shifted to Somerset where he joined the John Hampden Grammar School. Pratchett had always wanted to be an astronomer but due to missing mathematical proficiency, he was not able to achieve this dream of his. But this interest opened up doors of a new possible aspiration. Pratchett started reading Science Fiction books by both American and British authors. He claims to get his ‘true’ education of the literary world by reading the authors H.G Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle. He did his O levels in five subject and A Levels in English, Literature and Arts. At the age of thirteen Pratchett’s first ever story was published in the school magazine and was called ‘The Hades Business’. This story was also published at a commercial level two years later.
Pursuing his first career choice after astronomy that was journalism, Pratchett started working with Bucks Free Press where he got the chance to write many short stories under a pseudonym ‘Uncle Jim’. However his first attempt of becoming an author became a hope when he got a meeting with the director of a small publishing company which published his book ‘The Carpet People’ in 1971. Following the release of this book were two novels named ‘The Dark Side of the Sun’ (1976) and ‘Strata’ (1981).
Pratchett is most famous for his long running series of the ‘Discworld’ novels which comprises of forty books till now. This series is a humorous and fantasy based story of a disc shaped world that is carried on large elephants. The first of the novel series is called ‘The Color of Magic’ and it was published in 1983. In 1987 Pratchett left his job at the Central Electricity Generating Board to devote all his time to working on the rest of the ‘Discworld’ series books.
According to the Times Pratchett was the most popular and top selling author in 1996. According to a survey done by the Bookseller’s Pocket Yearbook 2005, Terry Pratchett is second in number to J.K Rowling in sales of books. His books from the ‘Discworld’ series have sold 40 million copies all over the world. With 36 different language translations, Pratchett’s books have sold more than sixty million copies. In the U.S he is the seventh most read author who does not belong to U.S. He was appointed ‘Officer of the Order of the British Empire’ for his innumerable services to the literary world. Pratchett was also made a Knight in 2008 and given the title of ‘Sir’. He has also been awarded four doctorate degrees by University of Warwick (1999), University of Portsmouth (2001), University of Bath (2003) and University of Bristol (2004). His books have received many honorable awards such as the Locus Award for the Best Young Adult Book in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Currently Terry Pratchett resides in Salisbury, Wiltshire with his wife and daughter (who is also a writer). He is also known for his style of wearing large black hats.