As regular readers know I’ve been slightly distracted by farm business in the shape of Strawberry Fox. Writing has slid to the back of my desk. Or it had, until things conspired to give me a kick and get me back to my Work In Progress.
First was the arrival of Vivienne DaCosta at our Chichester SCBWI group. I’ve never met a more vibrant enthusiast for children’s books – many of you will know her from Serendipity Reviews. Vivienne reads like no-one I know – she is teeming with book knowledge and she was excited by my new book. ‘ Write it, I want to read it!’ Vivienne DaCosta was excited by my idea!
I tentatively returned to Scrivener. And then I read this post from Cliff McNish on Facebook ( thanks for allowing me to share Cliff)
For all you aspiring writers out there, sitting anxiously on your bums beside a pc, or at peace in the Lotus position, or however and wherever you write, all of you working on a book that not too many people care about yet because not too many have heard of you yet, and just wondering what it might be like when you get feedback from readers to justify all that unheralded toil … well, sometimes, when it comes like this, everything feels worthwhile. Couldn’t resist (with Jay’s permission) sharing with you his unedited email to me via my website a couple of days ago.
Dear Mr. McNish
My name is Jay, and I’m 13 years old. I’ve always loved books, and yours I just happened to find at our town’s public library. Just lucky the whole [Silver] sequence was in one spot too. I can’t explain how AMAZING they are. I don’t know why, but I read them every night. I will have to return them soon, but I already plan on buying them for my personal keeping.
I know, I sound like any other kid fan you have, obsessed with your books. I guess I kind of am. I can’t say they changed my life in any way, but they’ve become a well-needed life line for me. Barely-a-teen, these books are just the perfect excuse to forget about my world and my non-existent problems, and just feel like I’m a part of something bigger. I know that none of this is true in any sense, but the concept-of Milo, Helen, Tom, Jenny, Walter, the Roar, the Protector-is so beautiful. Yes, some parts are a bit off, like Jenny the five-year-old weapon. Yet for some reason, it is so easy for me to believe that parts of your story do live around us, and I guess that’s given me some hope to know this magical story may contain reality. I think it’s the idea of beauty that leaves me enamored with your books. In the silver sequence, all beauty is-is compassion, caring. Kindness,and sacrifice. Giving into pain, and suffering, accepting losses for yourself, but helping others. It made me think about humanity in a different sense. Beauty is something we all have, and I don’t think I would of ever realized that without your books.
I know Serendipity when I see it.