5 Things We Learned About Malorie Blackman from Authors Live
Malorie Blackman is an imaginative writers for young readers as well as being the Children's Laureate. She recently took part in our Authors Live programme.
1. Being the Children’s Laureate, what’s it all about?
''Well it’s a role that is about banging the drum for reading, books and reading pleasure. It’s also to give a voice for children's authors and poets. All of these things but the wonderful thing is that each laureate can make it their own. Julia Donaldson, who was laureate before me, focused on younger children and their boooks. I am better known by my teen books and so I wanted to concentrate on talking to teens. It’s such an honour to be asked and I have spoken to over 20,000 teens!''
2. Thank goodness for librarians
I wouldn’t be sitting here now if it wasn’t for my public library. I use to do my homework there! They are great spaces and we really need to cherish them."
"When I was younger I lived at my local library. I loved myths, legends and fairy stories but when I was 11 I had read basically everything in the children’s library and thank God for my librarian! I had a brilliant librarian. She recommended books like Jane Eyre, Rebecca and took me to the adult library and I started reading all the classics. It made me have a broad range of reading. I wouldn’t be sitting here now if it wasn’t for my public library. I use to do my homework there! They are great spaces and we really need to cherish them.
3. So you want to write? Then read.
''I always liked to write but when my parents split up when I was 13, I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone about it so I started writing poetry to get my feelings out . Then I started to keep a diary and then when I was 20 I thought maybe I could write a book. Seven years, 8 or 9 books and 82 rejection letters later, I finally had a yes to one of my books. Anyone that says to me that they want to write and they ask for advice – I say, READ! You cannot be a writer if you do not read. I don’t see how one works without the other. Read as widely as possible, as many different authors as possible and as many different genres.
4. If she wasn’t a writer, what would she be?
''If I wasn’t a writer, I’d still want to be involved in books in some shape or form. I would be a librarian or work in a publishing house or even have my own publishing house! Maybe I’d be an agent so that I could help others get their books published, or work in a book shop. It would definitely be a role in books!''... Or work for Scottish Book Trust? We’d have you!
Anyone that says to me that they want to write and they ask for advice – I say, READ! You cannot be a writer if you do not read. I don’t see how one works without the other. Read as widely as possible, as many different authors as possible and as many different genres.
5. We are feeling very happy and generous after such a wonderful event so here is three for the price of one! Things that we love that Malorie Blackman loves...
1) Her love of computer games - "I love my computer games! I must admit, at the moment, I’m into World of Warcraft and so I’m a warlock in that at the moment but I loved Goldeneye and I love strategy games."
2) She loves her piano - "‘I love to play piano. I’ve only got grade two but I like to play ‘The Flower Duet’ from Lakme by Delibes. I’ve got loads of books at home with modern songs as well as classics…I tinker away on these all the time."
3) She admires the fearless - "I always admired people that were original and were not afraid to speak out. People like Martin Luther King and Mohamad Ali. People that were not afraid to be different."
Well, there you have it.