Today, in a class about the role of literature in society, I began to think.
Of course I love reading.
Naturally a lot of my favourite writers have influenced my writing. I know I consciously started using adverbs more after reading Georgette Heyer.
But then, I also began to wonder, which writers made me who I am?
And then, I came up with my top five writers of fiction. I have no idea who I’d be without them.
When friends tell me that their parents threatened to send them to boarding school if they were too naughty, I realise that that’s one threat that would never have worked for me. Simply because I have cotton-candy ideas that boarding school consists of nothing but midnight parties.
Anne taught me two things – one, it’s not such a bad thing to be talkative and two, imagination is a truly wonderful thing. Emily’s ‘flashes’ and Anne’s wild imagination have taken me to places I want to visit over and over again.
Let’s say just one thing. Dashing romances captured my fancy so much that I even crossed a letter to a friend once. Needless to say, it was very difficult to read.
Dahl taught me that it’s possible to balance darkness and sunshine. He taught me that the macabre is grand, and that innocence can be found even within it. The Witches, Matilda, George’s Marvellous Medicine … How can I not want to be like all those brilliant characters?
Frances Hodgson Burnett
It’s no crime to be good. That’s what Cedric Errol and Sara taught me. If you’re just the right kind of good, there’s no harm in wearing rose-tinted glasses. And I think, in many ways, I still wear those rose-tinted glasses.
I want to be all those favourite characters.
And, I can’t help adding here, it wouldn’t hurt to be the little girl who was visited by the story-catcher.