Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Bogies, Farts and Poo! by Lynn Huggins - Cooper

I really look quite refined, to the casual observer. I have a lovely home in the country; I wear Barbours and have been known to attend WI meetings and enthuse about jam and crochet. But how do I make a living? Well, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time writing about bogies, farts and poo! I'd like to say I only discovered a penchant for poop when I started writing as 'B. Strange' in the Too Ghoul for School' series - it would be a good cover story, as I was asked to write about terrors in a toilet. But I soon found I was waaay too into it; I had stories about Dump Demons suffocating children with stinking gas and ghoulish goings-on in the toilets that according to my characters saved anyone from suffering from constipation...sigh. I have to accept it. I might look and sound like Margot Leadbetter on the outside, but I am worked from the inside, like a darlek, by a tiny monster. Mine is, I think, a scatological 10 year old.

But you know, I don't think the 10 year old lives alone in there. I'm currently writing Walking with Witches, a supernatural story about young teens, and the heroine of that story lives inside me too. She's a little more sophisticated than the farty 10 year old, but she still likes a joke. Then there's my older teenage protagonist who is currently wrestling with her sense of self...she's in there too. The point is, they are all me. If I didn't still keenly remember the person I was then, I couldn't write for children and young people now. So if you want to write stories for children, spend some time with the child inside. Mine's in there, alive and well - and lurking with a whoopee cushion and fart powder - you have been warned!