I recently bought Coraline and Other Stories. I was flicking through it on my break at work, and I don’t usually bother reading introductions, but this one fascinated me.
Neil Gaiman, the author, talks about how Coraline was inspired by a story his daughter told him when she was young. He wrote Coraline in his spare time, leaving it for years, and just picking up where he left off – which is a real inspiration for me to look back on some of my old writing.
He also spoke about how stories should be. Sad stories should make you cry, scary ones should scare you – even if they are children’s books. He couldn’t find the kinds of books he read as a child, so he wrote one himself.
As a lover of old children’s stories I can relate. I was in love with The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair as a child. I still love the stories of Enid Blyton now. But children’s books these days are not the same.
I never thought of writing books for children. I’m always trying to think up stories for adults. Although I do love a good chick lit, maybe going back to my childhood, where my love of books started, would be a good idea.
It’s amazing how a few months ago I didn’t even know who this guy was. Then after seeing him in The Guardian I realised he was the author of the books that two of my favourite films are based on. Now I’m slowly making my way through all of his books. I think I may have found my new favourite author.
Also, maybe I’ll actually read the introduction books instead of passing over it, because I’m excited about reading Coraline and Other Stories, and I haven’t even started it yet.