August 31st, 2014 | Back to article list
I am sitting on a campsite as I write this. We’ve been here for four days and it has rained a large proportion of that time. Welcome to the glorious British summertime. The tent has held up pretty well and we’ve been warm at night. Never the less tempers have frayed as the weather has refused point blank to improve. On more than one occasion the phrase “Why do we do these things?” has entered my mind. Of course there are reasons, the laughter of our children, cooking outdoors and the fact that – regardless of the weather – I love camping.
It’s an interesting phrase that though – Why do we do these things? Take writing for example. Why do we do it? It’s a question I’ve been asked and the usual answer is because I enjoy it. That’s true and I am grateful that I can do something I enjoy and don’t depend upon it for my livlihood. Every now and then though you find another reason why you do what you do. For me it was when we visited some friends we’ve not seen for a while. One of the children – Jem (pictured with permission) – really enjoyed my first book to the extent that I was told he was most upset when they finished it.
One major reason I undertook this project is the hope that it will encourage children to enjoy and share stories and to maybe write their own. I like to involve my readership (small that it is) and so I dedicated my second book to Jem. When we turned up at his house I gave him a copy and showed him the dedication. His reaction was beyond what I could have hoped for. He walked around with that book like it was a teddy bear. He asked me to read it to him and so I read the first few chapters. He was very excited and he immediately engaged with the story.
The look on his face (and to be fair that of his siblings) and the sheer excitement of seeing the book dedicated to him immediately made me think “That’s why I do these things.”
So thank you Jem and indeed all my readers for your encouragement and enthusiasm. That’s why I write these books. If you or your children read books and enjoy them can I ask that you let the author know? Send them an eMail, leave some feedback or write them a letter. It really helps us you know?