Tuesday 3 June 2014

Letter To My Younger Self by Michelle Harrison

Day 2 of Michelle Harrison’s Fairy Quest
To celebrate the publication of Michelle Harrison’s magical new novel, One Wish, Simon & Schuster Children’s has set up its very own fairy quest. To be in with a chance of winning a Thirteen Treasures goodie bag, all you have to do is visit each of the five blogs in the banner to the right over the course of this week.
Each blog will have one question associated with its content. Take the first letter from the answer of each of those questions to reveal the identity of a character in One Wish. For example…
If the answers each day were Red, Oak, Whisper, Apple and Night, the final answer would be ROWAN.
When you have the name of the character, please send your answer to childrensbooks@simonandschuster.co.uk with the subject header FAIRY QUEST. Entries will close at midnight on Wednesday 11th June.
The question you will need to ask at the end of the blog is: Michelle tells her younger self to try harder in Maths because it will save a fortune in what?
Dear Michelle
For a sixteen year old, you've got your head screwed on pretty firmly, haven't you? That's what everyone tells you. You know what you want out of life: to be an author and illustrator. Well, believe it or not, you'll have a book deal before you've hit thirty.
You don't believe it, though, not really. It's a dream, or at the very least a reality you don't expect until you're much, much older. Because people like you aren't authors, are they? Not proper ones, anyway. But you're good at dreaming, when you're awake as well as asleep, and much better at it than you even know. You're also sensible enough to realise that what you want isn't going to be handed to you easily. You're going to have to work for it. You know it's a way off yet, and that you'll have to do jobs you don't like. In a strange way, you'll enjoy the challenge. All those hours of boredom will force your mind to wander, and that's how you'll start thinking up your first book. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
You're still only sixteen. You're doing all the right things that will set you on the path to publication . . . but you need to enjoy yourself a bit more. Don't be so afraid to bend the rules. Sometimes that's where the best ideas come from.
Stop worrying about what people think of you. In years to come, some of those who sneered at you and called you a swot will congratulate you on your success and express regret at not having tried harder themselves.
It's no good telling you not to be upset when you don't win the school art award you wanted so much. It doesn't feel like it at the moment, but winning the English award instead will mean much more to you later on, plus it's a good exercise in disappointment when all those rejection letters start coming in. 
The next two years are going to be tough. One thing – one person – in particular is going to devastate you. They will tell you that you never have anything interesting to say, and it will crush you. Let it. You might be damaged, but even broken things can be mended. It'll be the making of you. You'll want to run away. You will run away; to a college far from home where no one knows you. There you'll meet a brilliant teacher who will show you a book of art and folklore all about fairies, and you'll find that suddenly you have plenty of interesting things to say. So much so, that you'll write a book about them. Four books, in fact. 
I can see your look of disbelief: right now you don't think you'll ever want to write about anything other than ghosts and romance. That's all right, you'll move on to other subjects when you're ready (including some terrible poetry about that boy you like at college). For now, just keep writing your Point Horror inspired stories and take better care of them, because when they go missing in a house move, you'll always regret it.
Keep reading, too. Not just Christopher Pike – there are so many other authors waiting to be discovered. You'll get to them eventually and wonder why it took you so long. We both know you won't though, because you're stubborn. Fine. Just don't stop reading. It's what got you here.
P.S. Try harder in Maths. You might think artists and writers don't need to but you'll change your mind when you realise you could save a fortune in accountants' fees . . .
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One Wish by Michelle Harrison was published in May 2014 by Simon and Schuster. Check out the trailer for the book below.

To find out more about Michelle Harrison:
To find out more about Spinney Wicket, the home of One Wish, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, Michelle. I so often wish I could go back and whisper some words of encouragement to my younger self.


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