I’ve been reading A LOT recently. I’ve always loved a good story but in the past two months, since starting The Golden Egg Academy Foundations course, I’ve been reading a lot more. Part of the requirements of the course is to read books for the age of your reader and in that genre. So for me it’s books for children ages 9 to 12 and adventure/ mystery stories.
I’ve enjoyed Beetle Boy by M. G. Leonard, The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol, Cogheart by Peter Bunzl and The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, and there are many more on the ‘to read’ pile.
What has really struck me is how courageous these writers are. They don’t shy away from dealing with difficult issues. They write straight. They write about death, danger, abuse and do so in an unpatronising way, acknowledging the readers ability to understand complex, and sometimes grown up, emotional issues.
When I subsequently read back through my current work in progress I found I was being too safe, protecting my reader, and my protagonist, from the real horrors of war, loss and death. It’s made me look again, rewrite and generally be courageous in my portrayal of Marnie’s story.
There is still such a long way to go, many words to write and rewrite. But I hope that amongst all the hard work I will be courageous, not just for Marnie’s sake but also for the sake of my readers.