My earliest memory of reading was going to the library with my mum when I was a toddler to pick my books for the month. My mum is an avid reader and she encouraged our love of reading. The trip was always the same, an hour in the library picking out books, then a play in the park opposite, followed by a picnic. These are some of the most vivid and enjoyable memories I have of childhood. Little did I know at the time that this reading and analysing of text would help me as an author in later life. The book I have started writing this month is a young adult, dystopian. A large amount of my reading in adult life has been young adult, dystopian. Each of these books has taught me a different skill for my writing.
Why as a reader you should be supporting other writers. As a writer, you can share your wisdom through your writing tips and stories of success. As a reader though you hold all the power. Think about your favourite author. You buy their books, pre-order their new editions and recommend their books. You as the reader have the power to make or break an author. The easiest way to thank these authors for their amazing work is by leaving a positive review. How many of you do this for every read? This reader power is also true on Medium. The first change we saw on Medium was for reading time to be converted into payment. This system personally changed the reader in me. I stopped skim reading and started digesting the work of others.
For many years I have been obsessed with quotes. My commonplace book has quotes from a variety of sources. Life quotes are those that follow you throughout the ages. Whether it is the first sentence or beautiful prose, I write them down. There are, however, five life quotes that have given me strength. Mantra’s to live by.
Eighty-two per cent of women have read at least one book in their lifetime. This is in contrast to 69% in men. As a female writer, I have supported many, who have been treated badly by their male counterparts. This, however, is not a new phenomenon. It has been happening for centuries within literature. The History of the Novel Orinoko was the first book ever published in English. It is thought to be Robinson Crusoe, but this is untrue.
The benefits of reading to your child. If you read one book a night to your child, when they are 5 they will have read 1825 books. My greatest joy as a parent is reading my little girl her bedtime story every night. I have actually got annoyed with my partner when she has tried to take the job away from me. As she is nearly two years old I have started moving away from the quick reads. Into the world of chapter books. So far the books we have covered have been The Magic Faraway Tree, a personal favourite of mine from when I was a child. We have now started a series of books, where the heroine shares the same name as her. I am beyond excited at the prospect of starting to read Harry Potter to her. This is a tradition that has been passed on through many generations. As a child, I remember my mum reading to me, her father read to her. It was a tradition I was determined to continue. Since she was born I have missed only one evening. For this time I told her a story, over the phone, that I had memorised. It was actually the Billy Goats Gruff, a story I insisted my mum read to me at least once a week. If you don’t read to your children at night, I urge you to start. The benefits far outweigh the time. Incidentally, I always leave my phone downstairs when I go to read to her. No interruptions are allowed.
Factors to consider when sitting down to write your first novel. When I was very young, I was lucky enough to have a school visit from Michael Rosen. He said something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. To be able to write fiction of any type you need to imagine the story in your head like a movie and then write what you see. It was the first time I realised, that I could write a novel. I could see the characters and action in stories as clear as if I was watching it on a TV screen.