Havre de Grace, Maryland
“I prefer science fiction that has some basis in reality: psychological stories, time-travel stories, but especially stories about people,” William Sleator told Dieter Miller.
Sleator, who is a former company pianist for the Boston Ballet, lives in Boston. The son of a professor, he grew up in Maryland and St. Louis, Missouri.
Sleator studied piano for twelve years and cello for five. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University in 1967. He went to England to work on a graduate degree. Sleator worked as an accompanist for ballet classes. He spent a year at the Royal Ballet School in London. He composed scores for ballets and amateur films and plays. Sleator's work as assistant to an artist, Blair Lent, prompted him to begin to write for children.
His first book, Blackbriar, was inspired by a visit to an isolated cottage in England. The story, with a mystery setting, is about a boy's struggle for independence from his guardian.
“There are strange doings in the woods, and weird people come and go both in and around Danny and Philippa's house, but the mystery remains so unformulated that we never develop a feeling of what is at stake,” complained Ashley Darlington Grayson, who concluded, “Danny fails to earn any reader respect because he is thick as a post.”
Other of Sleator's books “are built on equally unnerving subjects [as Satanism], like the time travel in The Green Futures of Tycho and