Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween teen...

The Frankfurt Book fair is on right now. I was interested to see on Graham Beattie's blog ( a day or so back the news that Publishers from Canada, Australia and New Zealand had got together at Frankfurt and formed a coalition in pursuit of closer cooperation. All three countries have had concerns about the dominance of Britain and America in the english language markets and their proprietorial attitudes towards other english speaking markets like Canada, Oz and NZ. I like the sound of this coalition but I'm not sure what impact it will have on me and my writing/books, if any. The bigger impact at the moment is bound to be from the global financial squeeze. Right now I feel strangely calm about it all. Long may this calm continue.

In a delicious touch of irony, this year my youngest daughter turns teen on Halloween. Is there any more frightening prospect than adding another teen to the household mix? It seems perfect for this particular festival. She is off to high school next year, and as her younger brother moves to intermediate I will no longer have any children at primary school. Another milestone is passed, another era ends. I wonder if losing that connection with primary age children will have an impact on my writing. Will i drift away from writing picture books? I hope not. There is something truely magical about crafting a story for this genre. I never cease to be amazed, even as a picture book writer myself, how the brevity and apparent simplicity unfolds and gently reveals complex themes and feelings. It is immensely satisfying that despite repeat readings my favourite picture books can still move me to tears, smiles, out right laughs and understanding. If I'm feeling down 'Olivia' is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face, 'Tulevai and the Sea' reminds me of the power of a mother's love and 'Dear Greenpeace' chokes me up on the final page. How cool is that.

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