If you didn’t know already, I love YA fiction.
I’m that 26 year old trawling the children’s and YA section of every book shop. Move over, kids, they’re mine.
I have decided that I really want and need to get into the world of publishing, and not only just publishing in general, but to specialise in fiction for children and young adults. It actually makes me very excited thinking about it. Basically the feeling I get when I walk into a bookstore. They make me really happy.
Reading during my teen years was probably the most important part of my growing up; understanding the world, the people around me, and practicing empathy. I remember the first books that took my interest, and stuck with me throughout my teens, were Bow Down Shadrach by Joy Cowley, The Summer of Shadows by Iona McNaughton and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. To Kill A Mockingbird I studied in English in Year 12, and I fell in love with it, and Atticus Finch. It was the book that really cemented the dream of becoming a writer.
At university, I completed a Children’s Literature paper which was probably my favourite English class I ever took (we studied The Northern Lights series and Narnia…need I say more?), and also completed a Children’s Creative Writing paper at the Institute of Modern Letters. It was amazing. I met some wonderful people in that class, wrote 20,000 words of a children’s novel and also gained so much confidence both in my writing and in public speaking (we had to read our writing outloud in front of the class – as a shy farm girl, this was difficult for me!). I discovered I am terrible at writing picture books, and I have an obsession with trees.
I am very lucky, because I have 5 sisters who are huge readers and two 12 year old nieces who I love talking books with. It makes me really proud when I hear about what book they’re reading, or when I am able to recommend a book to them.
Now, I’m in London, and I’m still reading YA (amongst other things, of course – reading ALL the books!), managing to scuttle off to the odd bookish event, and:
I want to write a YA novel.
And, I want to publish them.