From time to time, people ask me when I’m going to write more books for children and young adults – in particular, they ask when I’m going to write more books in the Runcible Jones series, and about Ike and Mellie from Grim and Grimmer. Or like my little Sorcerer’s Tower books which had such a great response from school librarians – apparently they were just the thing for reluctant readers in middle and upper primary school. The answer, I’m afraid, is not in the immediate future.
Not because I don’t want to. I enjoyed writing those books very much, and learned a lot about storytelling, too. And it was great talking to schoolkids about writing – I did a couple of week-long school tours, in each of which I talked to nearly 2,000 kids in the week, and did on-the-spot story creation exercises with groups of up to 200 kids. It was fascinating to see what they came up with, and how enthusiastic it made them about reading and writing. Their teachers were happy too.
But for the period between 2004 and 2011, when I was writing children’s series at the same time as my big fantasy epics, I did virtually nothing but write. I hardly had a life at all and was definitely spreading myself too thin (metaphorically, I mean, lol. All that time at my desk was spreading the physical me rather thickly).
Now it’s smell the roses time. Last year I decided that I was going to concentrate on my big fantasy epics – finishing The Tainted Realm, and then going on to the long-awaited sequel to The View from the Mirror, and spend a year on each of those books. Five books, five years. That’s as far as I can look ahead, or would want to.
I’m not saying that I won’t write more kids’ books in future. I probably will. I just don’t know when at this stage.
The same applies to my eco-thrillers – the Human Rites series set in a world of catastrophic climate change. It was great writing them, because they were so different to my other books, and they drew on my scientific expertise, too. But for the same reasons, I can’t fit any more eco-thrillers in at the moment.
But one day …