Two Doctors and Stewy Stinker

‘The universe is made of stories’ (Muriel Rukeyer). That’s like weird quantum science but I mean that I am made of stories.  I’m blogging about the stories in my life, to my hometown Christchurch, this month.

Five years old, terrified, my first day at school. I sat on the hard grey mat and the teacher read Horton Hatches the Egg to the class. I became so engrossed I didn’t notice my mother slip out. My hero, Horton the elephant, who suffered so much on his mission,  helped me get through that day. I’m still a Dr Seuss fan. Favourite story: The Pale Green Pants one. Favourite character: the Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz. Dr Seuss was a genius – in Green Eggs and Ham he used a 50 word vocabulary list to create a classic.

Six years old, loving Calico the Wonder Horse, by Virgina Lee Burton, a comic-book style cowboy adventure, mainly because of the bad guy. Stewy Stinker is really nasty but in the end he’s given a choice to change. This pic of him crying always fascinated me – creepy and sad. Now when writing my stories I always give the villains an opportunity for a change of heart.

Seven years old, terrified again, but this time in a good way. The stories of another doctor now gripped me. Dr Who (1960s, black and white, and the doc was a grumpy old man) had a huge impact on my imagination. At school I wrote about time travel, Daleks, and Zarbi (giant ants) – and today my novels still have giant bugs in them.

Next blog won’t be quite so scary…

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