Monday, 4 May 2020

'write something you would love to read'

Books and other stuff fuse together in this online offering from author Anna James and her YouTube channel A Case for Books. James, a writer and arts journalist, is running a lively series of what I call 'digital author visits' under the umbrella of The Bookwanderers Club.

I have to admit I'm late to the party as I only just discovered her channel but what a little gem it's already proven to be for E and me during lockdown.  We tuned in yesterday to watch James' interview with SF Said, author of Varjak Paw, The Outlaw Varjak Paw and Phonenix. E has read both Varjak books and remains a firm fan of the adventures of this ninja cat.

If you're concerned that an online interview between two adults may be a hard sell then I totally get that and encourage you to persist. E was not overly enthusiastic when I logged on to the episode but I managed to ignore the protests and soon he started to engage. This is no real surprise given how positive and generous SF is when talking about his books and the writing process.  It can take him seven years (or more) to write a book and he is quick to point out that all the writing you do counts and that every draft counts whether you are published or not.  Given that I'm continually trying to impress upon E that making notes and drafts is all a valuable part of the process this was music to my ears.

I think what really hooked E was SF describing how seeing the movie Star Wars inspired him to write. I don't think that either of us was expecting that to be the case and it was refreshing to hear someone authentically making the link between books and movies. It's all about stories is it not? What hooked me was his advice to write something that you would love to read. As ever, it was rewarding to be reminded of the people behind the books we enjoy.

I encourage you to check out this digital series with your chapter book reader.  It features an impressive range of authors and if you can't join live you can still screen the episodes for free. Also, keep a look out for Anna James' books (I'm getting acquainted now), and I encourage you to add these fantastic stories by SF Said to your shelf if you haven't done so already. 

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