When I try to recall which was the first storybook I had read…I come up blank! Probably because I started reading Tinkles and Amar Chitrakathas at a very early age…but my first true book is etched in my mind. I was six when my mother took me to a book store at bought a book by Enid Blyton, she said she was the first author she herself had read. So my first book was- 13 O’clock and other Tales by Enid Blyton. Slowly I got mesmerised by the world of fairies, witches, trolls and elves. Slowly I graduated to Famous Fives, Secret Sevens and a myriad of other mystery and fantasy novels. Being nearly an adult now, a large number of my reads have the romantic element, but the simple Harry Potter series or mysteries of Patricia Cornwell and Jeffery Archer or even the works of Dan Brown. All these works of fiction fueled my imagination and urge me to translate them into words on a page..on a screen.
This is the backdrop to my periodic urge to write fiction, I fantasy myself as a writer of similar fantasies. But when I tell people that I not only read fantasy, but would also love to write them, maybe even children’s fiction, I witness a strange look on the face of the person listening. Tell me which budding writer does not face insecurity? Especially when being judged by a third person!
Putting aside my own sensitivity to criticism, let me just make a point, if there were no children’s book writers in the world, or for Young Adults, how would the intellectual adult have gained his/her habit to read? The adult might read Salman Rushdie and Arvind Adiga, but the 6 years being introduced to books might find it a task akin to getting used to a new computer operating system; completely foxing! The world needs more writers who spin sweet stories for innocent children, after all no matter how many Mills and Boons are released, they won’t help little darlings beginning to read!