A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Firstly, hi, I’m so stoked to be here. Seriously. Suddenly, I find myself in the run-up to publication. It’s exciting and magical and juuuust a little bit scary. Like most (I assume) debut authors (and probably, I hope, like most sophomore and seasoned writers too), I have a lot of feels, and a lot of people who’ve inspired and helped me along the way.
I was going to use this post as an extended ‘thank you, you guys are amazing’ post, but I sort of hope that they all know by now. And today I want to talk about something different.
General, everywhere, all-over-the-world people.
People are my jam.
Like, everyone is unique, right? Between nature and nurture, genes and upbringing, we each experience the world in a slightly different way.
I adore those differences. I love that you like rock music and coastlines, you like cities at the dead of night, and you, well, knitting? Mountaintops? Dancing?
I love that breakfast can be frosted cornflakes, toast and jam or marmite or chocolate sprinkles, pancakes; rice and miso and fermented beans; pickles, fish, meats, cheese, noodles, sweet or spicy or sour.
I love languages and accents, the way they taste and sound and feel. And the way each of us – all of us, not just the writers – could look at the same thing and describe it using absolutely different words.
I love our stories. The myths and fairytales and abstract modern art.
I love that we learn, not just from our own experiences, but from those around us, those before us. We have rules, to follow or to not. Expectations. Histories which stretch back farther than I care to count: all of them glorious and joyful and full of cautionary tales. All of them, somewhere, tragic.
I love that what we believe shapes the person we become.
I Iove the choices that we make. Okay, not always. But I do love that we make them. That everything above and more will come together and inform the things we think and feel and do.
And I love that with all the billions and billions of differences between farmers and footballers, ghosts and children of the future, black or white, gay or straight, able-bodied, disabled, rich, poor, or anything along the in-betweens… with all those differences, there’s sameness. Stories intersect, paths cross, passions collide, and underneath it all, we’re human. Every single one of us.
People are my jam. They’re why I write: to explore the intersections and the weavings and the clashes between us. To figure out this difference-sameness-what-does-it-all-mean thing. Your quirks and hurts and the way that you rub up against the world you’re in inspire me all the time. My stories are about you, or the guy next door, or the kid on the beach seven thousand miles away. And somewhere deep inside, my stories are about us all.