Now that’s an interesting topic! I know that what I liked as a child, I still like now.
One thing I loved to do was explore. We lived near the bush and near the abandoned workings of one of Bendigo’s famous gold fields.
I walked through some paddocks and into the old mining area. It was very dangerous when I look back now, because many of the mines were uncapped and so deep and so full of water , way down.
But I could feel the history, the untold stories, the drama, the hardships, the excitement of finding gold. I also began to read about the gold fields. So many thousands of people came to Bendigo from all over the world to find their fortune. Many Chinese came too and you can still see the re-workings of abandoned mines by the Chinese, they made the mine shaft circular, different to the Cornish miners.
I began to imagine. For years an idea ran through my head. I even have the draft of a story I wrote before my goldfield story ‘Ratwhiskers and me’ was published by Walker books.
The story is written in a different way, as a verse novel. I realised that particular genre was just what I needed to complete that story.
I remember begin ‘stuck’ half way through the writing. So I took a thermos and sat just in a little park near an abandoned gold field. My characters began to breathe easy and as I soaked in the atmosphere, my writing had a new direction.
This was a story I had to write. I love finding snippets of history and breathing new life into them.
Here is a photo of the graves of many Chinese miners who died on the Bendigo gold field. A cemetery is often an interesting place to walk through.
So this is one aspect of my childhood that lives on in one of my books.
What do/did you like as a child and are you still interested in those things? I’d love to hear about them.