To be honest, I’m about as good at keeping New Year’s resolutions as I am at going into Kmart and only buying one thing, which is to say I am CRAP at it. But choosing a word or two as my theme for the year? That I can do!
I hope this means Captain Feathersword from The Wiggles is moonlighting as a CBCA board member.
If I had a treasure chest full of book gold from my childhood, what would it include?
The first books that came to mind were Animalia (1987 CBCA Honour Book for Picture Book of the Year) and The Eleventh Hour (joint winner in 1989 for CBCA Picture Book of the Year) by Graeme Base. The puzzles and hidden illustrations were so amazing, and since there was no internet back in the day (I am 100 years old, hello), it helped that there was an answer booklet included if you couldn’t Sherlock your way through.
Kudos to that outer space phase a lot of us went through as kids (glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and an irrational sadness later in life for Pluto losing its planet status, right?) for my next favourite childhood book:
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. 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 further!
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.