Enid Blyton

All posts tagged Enid Blyton

A is for Author

Published 03/05/2013 by julierkendrick

Well it is the start of my new blogging journey. Blogging from A – Z. Unsurprisingly I will be starting with A and I think it would be silly if I didn’t write about being an author.

Most authors have someone who inspired them to start writing.  It may have been a teacher or parent but I would guess that for most it is someone who wrote the books they loved to read as a child. I, like most little girls growing up in the 70’s and 80’s loved Enid Blyton. I devoured everything I could get my hands on that had been penned by her from The Wishing Chair to Malory Towers.  So quintessentially English but nothing like the childhood I knew.   Growing up in the heart of East London couldn’t be further removed from the beautiful countryside and lashings of ginger beer the Famous Five were used to. But for me that was the appeal. Stories of boarding school, children detectives, a wonderland at the top of a tree and a chair that could fly constantly stimulated my imagination and the stories I wrote in my wallpaper covered exercise books were full of amazing fairies and rainbows and don’t forget lashing of ginger beer.

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton

As I grew older my love for reading grew with me. I moved on to books by Judy Blume which helped me through my teenage years with stories such as “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?” and Deenie. I still had a good stock of Enid Blyton’s to read and re-read though.

It was when I reached the age of about 15 that I discovered horror, in the form of none other than Stephen King. I still remember the first book of his I read; Cujo, the story of a dog who catches rabies told from the dog’s point of view. Amazing! This was a whole new world of reading for me and probably the first book that made me cry (I could never watch the film). This book was quickly followed by Pet Semetary, Thinner, Salem’s Lot and It (which was the inspiration for my story Chuckles). How could one author, scare me, amuse me and make me cry all in one book? I just wanted to be able to do that too.  Richard Laymon, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Sean Hutson are amazing horror writers all of whom have inspired me and continue to do so.

The Original Cover I Had

The Original Cover I Had

Stephen King

Stephen King

Now, though there is an new genre it’s called YA or young adult. Wow, this didn’t exist when I was a young adult. So there was nothing to ease us in to the world of adult fiction.   That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I am envious of the teenagers of today, so many authors writing just for them.  The world of writing has expanded like never before and as subject matter pretty much anything goes. Young adults are not stupid or gullible and they don’t like to be patronised or humoured with watered down adult fiction. Oh no, YA tackles gritty subjects like  death, puberty, sex, divorce and an endless list of issues that affect the youth of today. But they are also still very young at heart and have the joy of books like Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. In fact the YA genre has exploded on to the scene so comprehensively that more adults than ever are buying books from this section.  Some of my new favourite authors write for the YA market, Amanda Hocking, Cassandra Clare and Lauren Kate to name but 3 and there are more being published every day.

So with all of this inspiration, all of these wonderful stories written by extremely talented authors how the hell will I ever measure up? You know what? It doesn’t matter, but I wont know until I try.

With 14 published short stories under my belt I am now in the process of writing two books, both aimed at the YA market. One is a paranormal romance and the other a genre fusion of paranormal and crime. I’ll keep you updated with how they progress.

Oh and by the way I still have a copy of The Wishing Chair on my shelf.

Wishing Chair

Wishing Chair

See you all soon.

Julie 🙂

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Tales from Costa Rica – Part 3

Published 26/10/2012 by julierkendrick

So, you remember the story so far? Finally arrived, no case, went to bed? Good. So I got up in the night for a pee and what was outside my bedroom door? Yaaaay my suitcase. It had been delivered at midnight, although how the guy found this house I will never know. There are no road names and few decent road signs. You just have to direct people by landmarks. i.e. turn right at Charly’s bar then go north down the pothole road and it’s the pink house on the right. Madness. But hey I was happily reunited with my clean underwear.

Showered and smelling of Molton Brown gorgeousness I came downstairs to the smell of french toast and maple syrup. I ate on the back porch looking over stunning views of the rainforest and the mountains. Absolutely breathtaking.

We then went to visit some friends of Annies who lived about half an hour away. They are Cubans who move to Miami 40 years ago and then to CR 5 years ago. They are what the locals call “Gringos”. I am told that this is not an insult but a name used to differentiate between the indigenous and those from other American countries. The Costa Ricans are called “Ticos” and the Nicaraguans “Nicos”. Any (pronounced Annie) and Norman are a lovely warm couple who are completely devoted to their 5 dogs. 2 pugs called Joey and Matilda, a large red dog of unknown breed they call Red, an Alsatian called Osso and an old black Labrador called Nina (pronounced Nine-a).

After taking us for some lunch in the local tin shack where once again the food was outstanding (this waiter was lucky enough to possess a full set of teeth), we went for a drive up the mountain to see a river that flowed down the hills and was apparently a sight to behold. We drove for about 20 minutes higher and higher up a gradient that felt as though the 4 x 4 we were in was about to tip over backwards and I was holding on for dear life much to the amusement of the two Annies. We stopped at a rickety old bridge and got out. To the dismay of Any the water was completely brown and the banks beside it had sunk into the water during the recent landslides. There had been an earthquake here about 4 weeks before I arrived (more about earthquakes next time!!) and this was some of the effect that it had had on the beautiful landscape. As we could no longer climb down to the banks we headed back and decided to call on some more friends called Mike and Earl.

Mike and Earl are realtors who live in a mansion in the clouds. No I haven’t transported you to Enid Blyton’s mind they really do live in a fantastic Spanish hacienda cut into the side of a mountain. They had it built for themselves about 7 years ago and Earl, who is a very talented painter, filled the walls with his brightly coloured art. The main focal point of this residence is the amazing back porch on which they have a suspended day-bed facing out across the mountains. However when we arrived the clouds were low and the porch was obscured. After we had been there for a while the clouds parted and I was treated to the most magnificent views that really did take my breath away. A lump formed in my throat and at that moment I was truly glad that I was there and a feeling of complete peace came over me and I realised what a stunning world we live in. I am very blessed.

We drove back to Annies with a feeling of contentment and as I went to bed that night I thought about the forthcoming trip to Tortuga the next day. In my mind Captain Jack Sparrow would be there waiting for me to sail off into the sunset and I couldn’t wait.

The next morning another disaster befell us….

See ya next time

Julie 🙂

PS Any excuse to put a pic of Johnny in my blog and I will take it 😉