I am not a ‘retired school teacher out of touch with young people today’ but a lover of straightforward adventure stories set in the real world. I came across the above quote while browsing the internet for agents of the genre. She was lamenting the amount of mss she received from persons she judged to be of this category.
O.K. I know you all must be desperate for another Harry Potter or Twilight and I am sure there are tons of authors and would be authors out there more than ready to take a stab at it. I am also the first to owe a dept of gratitude to authors like C.S Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien and to take my hat off to the original idea of J.K.Rowling.
I am also prepared to admit that ours was a childhood of adventure born of imagination, pre- video games and mobile phones. Children still actually called their parents mummy and daddy, is this so very weird?
I do not however consider my self out of touch with kids today and I was certainly never a school teacher, but does every story have to have ghosts, ghouls or gremlins? Must everything be entangled in the occult? Can’t we have real adventures any more? Are there no children who go off in their imaginations to solve mystery or on wild pursuit of unknown and invented dangers?
My first introduction to The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe was at the age of twelve or so. It was serialized on friday nights on BBC radio. The readers voice wrapped around us as warmly at the tartan blankets we snuggled into for the long drive to gloriously remembered weekends in the Black Mountains. It was as if the tale lived on in us and the adventure became our very own.
My imaginary children visit real lands and discover unknown and therefore mysterious cultures that are full of intriguing possibilities, an adventure in itself. They solve mysteries and make strange discoveries, go off by themselves as children love to do and thus they learn about life, its beauty and its richness. They are here and now on planet earth events unfolding as does life , in unexpected ways and they learn to deal with this, be adaptable and find solutions. Like Treasure Island or Kidnapped or even dear old Enid, at least the famous five had real fun and learnt what it was to be a true friend to someone. Better than to chop their heads off or zap them into another totally non existent dimension, n’est pas?