Bookwitch bites #102

It’s not all Harry Potter and J K Rowling in the children’s books world. This week I’ve come across some interesting articles on authors and books. One is by Matt Haig, where he spills the beans on what an author’s life can be like. (They’re not all the same, it seems.)

Advances vary a great deal, even between books for one author. Think about what Matt says, and consider how easy it would be to live like that. And if you happen to be a chicken, for goodness’ sake don’t go to Nando’s!

Amanda Craig has been around a long time and knows an awful lot about children’s books. This week she put a talk she’d done on her blog, and I have to join the line of people who have said what a great piece it is. It is a great piece. I wish I’d written it.

And if I was Amanda’s postman I’d either leave or ask for more pay. I bet he or she is not so keen on The Third Golden Age of Children’s Literature. One hundred books a week! It takes me a few months.

Whenever I threaten to become too starry eyed when meeting authors in person, I give myself a talking to, and tell myself that they are quite normal people, and you don’t exactly see their publicists going crazy. (It depends.)

This week J K Rowling did an event in Bath, and at least two people I know were there to see – and hear – her. One author, and one publicist, and both appear to have gone all soft-kneed and fan-like in her presence.

I’m glad. I don’t want to be alone in this admiration business. I am working hard at not kissing your feet. (Please wash them, just in case, though.)

But it’s good that the magic is still there, and isn’t it great that children’s literature can have the Rowling effect? Even if the gold bars for some are smaller than for others.

(Disappointed to discover that – yet again – this week’s Guardian Review was ‘children’s book review free.’ I can understand what Amanda means regarding cramming those 100 weekly books into a few hundred words, less than weekly. We need a spell, Harry!)

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