A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
It’s fair to say that Hon was nervous when I told her that I’d been asked to write about what we were like as children. I know way too much for her to be comfortable with that. I’m not going to get her to co-write this because collaboration has limits…
I’d like to say that this photo is evidence that Hon was a precocious reader but that would be a lie. Books and stories have always been a massive part of her life but she’s not a strong reader and she wrote about that and why you shouldn’t let it hold you back from loving and telling stories here.
So there aren’t many photos of her with a book – instead there are hundreds of photos of her with her dog and/or with Sylvanians (quite often dressed in home made togas – some things are quite hard to explain).
There should be masses of photos of me reading as a child because it’s pretty much all I did but there aren’t because I am so old that taking photos when I was little was a big deal and expensive and no way would anyone have wasted a Polaroid on a girl reading.
I wanted to be a writer from when I was quite small but it was more of a fantasy than an ambition. I remember a brief phase when I was trying to write a novel with a crime solving glamorous heroine – nobody told me about ‘write what you know’, frankly aliens would have been easier. Oddly, it failed to meet my exacting standards and I abandoned novel writing in favour of day dreaming about being a novel writer. It was just all too impossible, too far away to try to make it actually happen, I didn’t even keep a diary. Because she was such a slow reader Honor never thought she could be a writer but she did write all the time. I wish I’d kept more of her ‘early work’ because it was quite funny. She could be quite grandiose,
The Story of Acting (with an early reference to the all important ‘worm up’)
Talking of acting it was a big part of Hon’s life growing up and her experiences were an important inspiration for us when we were writing Waiting for Callback. Some of her acting was professional but a lot of it was school productions. So much laughter.
In case you’re wondering no, I never acted. The idea of being on stage fills me with horror.
I’m the one on the top (you knew that, right?) and I look so worried! School was a mixed bag for me. I liked it because I was a huge swot but I wasn’t very confident and I wasn’t very good at making friends. Also I couldn’t do sport. I still can’t. *Whisper it but I wish I’d read a bit less (less than 100% anyway) and spent more time with the other kids and even tried a bit harder at games – shocking.
Hon (she’s not a twin, I just couldn’t find the scissors to attack the photo strip) has just left school. She mostly loved it; she had the best teachers and friends that only teased her lightly for writing a book with her mum. When it comes to reading less and socializing more she has nothing to regret…
We came to writing by different paths, neither of us would have predicted that we’d ever get published – far less get published writing together. It’s the best fun in the world.
p.s. Hon, if you’re reading this, I’ve been nice. I didn’t post any of the hundreds of naked toddler photos and I didn’t spill any stories about how you were way too busy partying to read any stories about partying…
Perdita Cargill co-author, Waiting for Callback Simon & Schuster 2016 More here