This is my first ever post on the new site and as such, it’s very important and exciting – a statue shall be erected, bottles smashed, toasts quaffed and so on! Feel free to kick off your shoes and sit down a while.
It seems portentous that the day I launch my new blog is the Chinese New Year. I guess I’m starting out on another chapter…. To quote a friend: Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone in and from Asia- enjoy your holidays and a very prosperous 2015 – the year of the Goat!
While I am a relative newcomer to blogging (started mid-2014, over on Blogger), I’ve been obsessed with writing stories for children my whole life. Back in the dark ages of the 1980’s, when I first started submitting fantasy stories to publishers, the rejection heard most often was ‘fantasy doesn’t sell’ and ‘there is no market for it’. No one was interested in publishing my work, therefore I continued to do it in my spare time, and stopped submitting the stories.
‘Fantasy is the fiction of the heart’s desire. Pure fantasy, or what John Clute calls “full fantasy”, seems to deal in the fulfilment of the yearning of the human heart for a kinder world, a better self, a wholer experience, a sense of truly belonging. To use the ancient metaphor, fantasy seeks to heal the wasteland.’ ~ David Pringle
They say, just as they do about any job worth doing, ‘only be a writer if you are called to do it’. Because the chances are you’ll never get full recompense for services rendered. You slog your guts out over your prose with no guarantee of being paid. You have to be mad to do it, or at least it helps. But when you’re called to it, you love the whole dang thing anyway.
You are constructing the Neverland of your choice, whether your setting looks like Hogwart’s school for wizards, or New York City. Set the parameters to match the boundaries of your heart. –Jane Yolen
The tales I’ve written over the years, some of them painstakingly hand-illustrated, sit moldering in boxes beneath my writing desk. That’s fine. Every scribe has them. They represent my university, my scars, my failures on the long haul I undertook as a self-taught writer. I am sure my work was gobsmackingly terrible in the early days anyway back when fantasy fiction was not in vogue and neither was writing for children.
Today of course, it’s a totally different story.
“When K-Lytics.com, a site devoted to tracking ebook trends, released its November 2014 report, they found that children’s ebooks were the fastest-growing category of any type of book on Amazon, with their average sales rankings growing 46% in one month alone.” ~ Laura Backes (Follow Laura on her website, Facebook, Twitter)
There was a cool post recently on TheStoryReadingApe’s blog. It featured a chart showing an estimate of all the books ever sold by genre. There, I read that the ‘Top sellers of all time (are) fantasy and children’s literature.’ I thought, yes! Stick that in your eye, you naysayers and partypoopers from my past, these stories are the top sellers of all time! *happy dance* I feel vindicated. Fantasy Children’s Literature is in vogue. This means my time has come. And if it hasn’t, I can’t give up now I’ve only just gotten started.
Sometimes in life, you get lucky, and you get a glimpse of why you’re here and what it is you should be doing. I may not have achieved commercial success, but I do feel exceedingly fortunate in that I’m doing what I should be doing. If you know what I mean! I’ve stuck with the bucking dragon for 35 years. I never let go for a minute!
I believe the compulsion to write comes from a deeper place. I don’t write about or for children, but I write for the once and always child in myself. When I’m writing for children I’m chasing down a lost eden, that hopeful springtime, to approximate the pleasure I had in those shaded imaginative places. The lost eden of my childhood. -Kate de Goldi
Me too, Kate, me too.
How about you? Why do you write?
Talk to you later,
Yvette K. Carol