‘Seven is a magic number. The spells of fairy tales last for seven years… and it is around the age of seven that children are ready for the great adventures into the unknown…’
Not my words, but words which no doubt had a great impact upon my seven-year-old self. Although, something tells me I could have been any age when I was reading the book which bore this introduction – I can’t remember a time when I haven’t read.
‘More Stories for Seven-Year-Olds’ jumped off my bookshelf this weekend, when I was pondering what to write for a short children’s story for a little competition (competitions give deadlines and goals and that is Good) and so, I now have my May story written, as well as having finished my April short story for adults. Surprising how, when you give yourself a whole month to write a short story and do it in fits and starts, it actually seems to come together much more quickly than just sitting down, as I used to, and trying to churn it all out in one go.
Pacing yourself is also Good.
Most of my tales bear an element of the otherworldly in them and that, my friends, comes from a childhood lost in the world of enchanted woods and forests – where wishing chairs were the norm and everyone had fairies at the bottom of the garden… Yes, like many, I was a HUGE Enid Blyton fan and still have many of my old tattered books – the pages yellowing with age, the covers cracked and wrinkled from incessant reading. They were worlds I returned to time and again because they were worlds which leapt off the page and pulled you in from the very first letter.
It is an art form which I am striving to achieve myself. Enid Blyton has had her fair share of criticism over the years (not from her ardent fans but still, I’ve heard her writing pooh-poohed before), but give a child one of her books and they devour them.. and still do. I myself, have sold many as a bookseller in the past few years.
Anyway, the point is – no matter if you’re reading about tales of high adventure or evil, of good or of bad – funny or sad – if the words are right, the reader will desire nothing else but to read and read and read.
It’s a work in progress…