Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Reading again

I know three posts in quick succession after so few but I had to write this one following reading yet another article where an author boasted about how he never read children's book but loved writing them! Why would you say that? I really don't understand it. Don't get me wrong I don't ONLY read children's literature but I see no shame in it. I love the children's and young adult fiction I read and as I write young adult fiction I feel it is an important part of my life.

As I have said before I also read poetry to get the creative brain going - thank you to Tim Bowler for my latest find as he introduced me to the poet Gunnar Ekelof. I have a book I read in the bath. I have books I read for research and I have a book I read before I go to sleep to relax me. My life is all about reading. (Even more so when you take into the assignments and manuscripts I read) Sometimes I escape into books because I need to, because everything around me is going wrong and I need to get away.  It must be better to go to a book than a bottle surely?

I find it so sad that an author thinks it is appropriate to say things like this in an interview that is basically a bit of PR for his new book which is aimed at young adults. What message does it give those teenagers? 'Oh I might write for you but the stuff I do is not worthy of being read as I don't bother reading the stuff...' It is hard enough to them to read without giving them an excuse not to I would have thought.

I find it almost impossible to look aspiring writers in the face when they say to me that they don't read or they can't remember the last time they read a children's book or piece of young adult fiction when that is exactly what hey are writing. These sort of comments don't help that either. You cannot write if you don't read....well that's not true obviously you can write but you will probably be a better writer if you read. I thought I ought to add that caveat in there before someone hauls me up on a technicality.

I know I only wrote about reading in February I think but this irritated me so much I couldn't just ignore it. Please if you are a writer or an aspiring writer READ! You will be better for it.

And just because here's Lars Eriksson - The Lonely Journey Called Life

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