I find myself looking outside the world of picture books more and more. Rhyming is what comes naturally to me, much more so than prose. But I get a feeling there is more out there that I need to dive into, making me nervous and excited at the same time – I shall call it excitous.
So, what is a writer to do? Do I plug gleefully away at the fluffy, romantic stories that start with pirates, princesses amid some mild PERIL but all end WITH A BIG BOW just so your little rugrats get back to sleep after story-time without suffering nightmares?
Do I step into the world of the 5-7 years – swash buckling tales of adventure and treasure hunters or perhaps the 8+ as they moodily pick their way through their own hormones and try not to burst into tears having no idea why they are crying in the first place? Or do I just go hell for leather and encounter the world of Young Adults head on? Grunting at my characters as they text their friends in a language all of their own, waiting to see if the gorgeous girl across the room is in fact a zombie, knife-carrying Super-heroine and is also blood related to my cat?
Well, the answer is yes. Yes, I have stepped out onto the high-wire, knees shaking, lips trembling as I gradually make my way across to ‘the other side’.
Goodbye unicorns, fluffy bunnies and lost teddy-bears, hello thunder, angst and everything else you can possibly throw at me.