Writing for Children
Moving to the hamlet of Skyreholme in the Yorkshire Dales had a big impact on my writing . Perhaps the most significant aspect of my new life was having neighbours with two young children. When I arrived, the older child was 5 years old and the younger 3. They became my audience.
With their parents' permission, I bought each of them an attractive, blank notebook. For every Christmas and birthday, I wrote a new story, copied it into their books and went to the house next door to read the stories to them.
They were different individuals and they were growing up. The older child liked more conventional stories about princesses, dreams, and ballet dancers. The Ballerina and the Shoe Fairy was a favourite, as was The Day the Knight Danced. The most ambitious narrative is one I've discussed in another blog - The Boy with Four Hats, which is now in print. Some of the other stories may well form part of an anthology for children at a future date.
The younger child had a keen interest in nature and science. Bessie Bee's Big Blunder, The Christmas Owl and, as she grew a little older, The Quantum Pebble were all written for her. I researched all of these quite scrupulously so that while (I hope) the stories were fun, they were also feeding her thirst for knowledge.
They have moved on and so have I but I shall always be deeply grateful for the influence they had upon me.
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