Archive for January 16th, 2012|Daily archive page
Today I am pleased to welcome Diane Dooley to my blog.
The Reading Child; The Writing Adult
By Diane Dooley
Thanks, Sara-Jayne, for inviting me to your blog. I’ll try not to mess the place up.
I’m a regular reader of this blog and have been enjoying S.J.’s ongoing series of posts on ‘My Life in Books,’ in which she chats about some of her favorite books while growing up. We have a few authors in common, namely Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. Today I’d like to tell you about three books I read when I was young that have been an influence on my writing as an adult.
First is ‘Children of Morrow,’ by H.M. Hoover (Published 1973). This was probably the first science fiction I had ever read. It’s about two children living in a post-apocalyptic society, in a cruel and patriarchal community that worships the nuclear bomb. This book riveted me. I read it over and over and over. It wasn’t a happy book; quite the opposite. The children were hated and abused, they were vilified for being different and eventually hunted. I wonder if it would even get published today? It was that depressing. But I loved it. No wonder that my writing today is on the dark side.
Next is ‘The Twelfth Day of July’ by Joan Lingard (Published 1970). Kevin and Sadie are two teenagers growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. One is Catholic; one is Protestant. They’re supposed to be enemies, but instead they meet, get to know each other and eventually start a romantic relationship. I grew up in the west of Scotland where there was also a terrible divide between Catholics and Protestants, so this book helped show me that it didn’t have to be that way. And to this day I adore love stories where two people from very different worlds get to live happily ever after against all the odds. I write them, too.
Finally, we have ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ by Sue Townsend (Published 1982). Adrian is a pompous, annoying and adorable teenager, who is trying to cope with the breakdown of his parents’ marriage, falling in love for the first time and getting his poetry repeatedly rejected by the BBC. It was so darn funny! It made me smile and giggle and realize that perfect people just aren’t funny. It was his flaws and earnestness that made Adrian such a lovable guy to read about. To this day I prefer deeply flawed characters and trying to make readers laugh, just as this book made me laugh.
Did any of you read any of these books? Or was there another that made a huge impact on you? Please leave a comment to be entered for a random drawing for an e-copy of my book, BLUE GALAXY.
Incidentally, or rather not, Blue Galaxy is set in a desperate future, where an evil dictator is slowly bringing humanity to its knees. It’s a love story, where two people who should never have met fall in love. And the characters are flawed, funny people who love to zing lines of dialogue at each other. What I write is deeply influenced by what I like to read, including all the great books I read when I was much younger. Funny how that works, ain’t it?