I’m in Edinburgh. Due to do a talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival this afternoon. This is a big deal for me.
Before I became a children’s author I used to run book festivals. One in Bradford. And, briefly, the more famous Ilkley Literature Festival. That was my career before writing. Putting on author events in bookshops, libraries, theatres and football stadiums too. I hosted over 500 events in my time.
Before I tried to get published I thought you had to be something special to be a published author. I was thinking along the lines that you had to be very intelligent, rich, maybe from London and – perhaps – posh.
And some authors are intelligent. Some are even from London. But…
…what I’m saying is that when I ran book festivals I met authors and realised they are mostly just normal people. And that the one thing they have in common is a strong drive to write, to be writers.
Meeting authors at book festivals made me believe I could have a go at being a writer. That I could dare to dream. I even dreamed about talking at book festivals.
Anyone can write. You don’t have to be special or rich or clever or posh. You just have to want to do it.