"Markus Frank Zusak" is an Australian writer. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger (Markus Zusak novel)/The Messenger (US title, I Am the Messenger), two novels for young adults which have been international bestsellers. He won the annual Margaret Edwards Award in 2014 for his contribution to young-adult literature published in the US.

More Markus Zusak on Wikipedia.

She's not a writer, thankfully.

So many teenage books say, 'This is in your voice, this is about you,' and that's great. We really need that. But we also need books that say, 'This is also for you, but you need to come up here, to step up to this.

I wanted Death to talk in a way that humans don't speak. One thing I stood by [in the editing process] was when Death says things like 'the trees who stood' or 'the sky who was this color.' He refers to the sky and the trees and the clouds as though they're colleagues.

It's the first time I've been really worried. It's the first time I've written a book and thought, 'Can I do a better book?' I don't know if I can.

I definitely can't do the 'On the Waterfront' speech. I've had my shot and I couldn't be happier.

I feel like every other book has been a small piece of me. This is every piece of me.

The idea that he is haunted by what humans do — I just loved that irony because we are all so afraid of dying. Originally, he was a very different voice. He was supercilious. He was enjoying his work too much and he would say creepy things, which is the obvious.

Every time you experiment with something, every time you've tried something, you can cross that off. Every time you find something that doesn't work, you're a step closer to what does work. Just do the work every day -- and do it and do it.