Under the Influence

I’m in the thick of copy-editing ‘Vulture’s Gate’ and it’s been hard to think laterally and contemplate writing a blog. Actually, it’s been hard to think about anything other than how to make the manuscript shiny and sharp and everything I would like it to be.

At this stage of writing, I sometimes feel as if I’m in a tunnel, barreling toward a tiny, distant speck of light. I’m so glad life is more complex than one book and the world bigger than my desk. I’m looking forward to the few small jaunts I’ve allowed myself over the next couple of weeks.

On Tuesday evening I’ll be participating in a Booktalkers event at the State Library of Victoria along with John Marsden, Kate McCaffrey, Tim Pegler, Don Henderson and Sue Saliba. Booktalkers are organised by the Centre for Youth Literature and feature panels and discussions about contemporary youth literature. Whether I’m on the panel or not, I try and get along to as many of them as I can as they’re a good reminder of the diversity and richness of youth literature and a great way of getting the low down on new books and authors.

The topic for Tuesday is ‘Under the Influence’. Possibly, we’ll all wind up referencing our favourite cocktails – I’ve a mean recipe for a Sakitini (a martini made with saki) – but I suspect we’re probably going to be forced to contemplate deeper issues.

In the gaps between thinking about my futuristic dystopia, I’ve been doodling the names of authors who have shaped my ideas about writing and now there are post-it notes and crumpled envelopes all over the house with names and titles from more than forty years of reading youth literature. It’s tempting to write a post about each one of them but that would involve blogging every day for the next decade to cover them all. If you want to hear a little bit about a few of them, come along on Tuesday night! (6.00pm to 8.30 pm at the State Library of Victoria – check the link for bookings/price/details)

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Every adult was once a child and the child inside them never completely disappears.”

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