Sometimes I’m asked when I am going to write a book for and about adults. The question is always posed by an adult, usually the sort of person who doesn’t read children’s literature or YA and doesn’t understand that it is can be as professionally demanding and as satisfying as any other form of writing.
The plaque above was made for me by a boy called Brian. I met Brian when I visited his school in Singapore last year. In anticipation of my visit, Brian made this extraordinary gift for me. I love it. I keep it on a shelf in my office and it always makes me smile when I see it. More than a year later, on a wintery Melbourne evening, Brian’s gift conjures that visit to Singapore and reminds me of what a privilege it is to write for young people.
Yesterday, I received an email from a fourteen year old reader. She wrote to tell me how much she’d enjoyed reading India Dark. She closed her email with: “…thank you so much for writing this incredible novel, it will always be close to my heart.”
Writing is about connection. My sense of connection with young readers is so strong and so rewarding, I rarely feel driven to write anything that I can’t share with them.