My love of reading definitely originated from snooping through people’s mail.
Back when I was a kid, one of the most sought after books at the school library was Janet & Allan Ahlberg’s The Jolly Postman. The story was about following the postman’s route as he delivered letters to different residents, but you could also open the mail yourself and have a sticky-beak.
I was in my element.
Come to think of it, I also loved reading people’s diaries (shout out to Penny Pollard and Adrian Mole), so maybe I’ve missed my true calling in life to become a private investigator – or a 90-year-old named Maude who loves to sit by her front window and knit and knows way too much about the comings and goings of her neighbours.
There were also other books I was thoroughly obsessed with like The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, Fear Street, most Enid Blyton series (I wanted to visit each and every land in The Magic Faraway Tree), all the Paul Jennings short story books and the Choose Your Own Adventure novels (which have recently been re-released in the shops, much to my nostalgia-infested brain’s excitement).
It was through this love of reading, though, that I realised I want to write a middle grade/young adult book of my own one day. I want to introduce readers to new fictional worlds with intriguing characters and memorable adventures. I want people to have that same sense of delight and wonder I did (and still have!), whenever I picked up a new book. Even if it was just to read about the latest fashion ensemble Claudia Kishi had put together, because you know that was one of the best things about The BSC.
So I’m slowly making my way there. One of my main goals this year was to get my MG manuscript out into the world, which I did by entering the Text Prize for young adult & children’s writing from Text Publishing. (ETA 12/04: I didn’t make the shortlist, but I’m looking forward to reading the winning book, whichever one it may be. All of the shortlisted manuscripts sound fab!). I’ll also be attempting to write a first draft for another MG manuscript I have in mind. Because if nothing else, I am amazing at procrastinating so I need to keep the writing vibes flowing if I want to accomplish anything else!
I mean, I’m also pretty good at snooping through fictional people’s mail too, but I might just leave that to past me for now.