After much hard work and ingenuity on the part of a team of highly trained professionals, I am now published on Amazon's Kindle! For a child psychologist/mediator-turned-writer, this represents a big step in the change of career process. For decades I knew it was only a matter of time till writing became my profession, and the written word has been my passion for even longer, but making the leap from academic writing to children's fantasy author represents one of the most exciting and challenging things I've ever done.
And the list of tasks is endless! Blogs, web sites, summaries, cross links, wikipedia entries, and more versions of my book than I'd ever thought necessary (Kindle, Lulu, Amazon, Borders...) all make this a process of almost limitless proportions. And it's all worth it! I feel, after 20 years of planning, I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to get my words read, to get the message out, to encourage children to see themselves as central and valuable, to use story telling to engage with children to touch their hearts and assist in their healthy development.
I believe that, to write for children, one's motivation needs to be two fold. Firstly, one must want to tell stories. There has to be a deep seated desire to 'spin a good yarn' and to entertain. I remember the first time I read 'A Horseman Riding By'. Having studied literature of all kinds at university in Australia, and so much of it having been dry and boring, I was struck by the extent to which this story simply entertained me. And when I started writing the Prism series, I vowed to myself that I would write nothing dull, nothing that had to be 'sat through to get to the good bits'! I wanted to write things that would make children sit - wide eyed - on the edges of their seats, waiting with baited breath for the next word.
But secondly, one must surely be committed to the healthy development of children. I believe that a children's novel must be committed to bringing an experience of increased health and joy to its readers. It should be a tool for parents whose aim is to raise healthy contributors to their communities. And it should light a passion for 'right' in the bellies of its readers - something which inspires them to be greater than they were when they started reading.
A book is a powerful thing, and a children's book doubly so. I hope that the Prism series will dispel the haze of grey we so often wade through, and ignite instead a powerful spectrum of color in those who read it,
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Welcome to my blog, created to complement the collection of children's books known as 'The Terror of Prism Fading.' Here I'll be posting news of the books' progression - their creation and dissemination - and an exploration of the themes they espouse. Even though these books are not yet published (hard copy available September 15th when the cover art is completed), more or less everyone in my circle of friends and acquaintances know that my time is spent on a day to day basis in the wonderful, magical land of Prism. As such, interested bystanders often ask me what the books are about. What they're looking for is a quick rundown of plot, character, and progression - a short wrap up of what I'm writing and where I am in the process. But today over lunch I was contemplating what it was I was truly trying to say.
What, in fact, is the very heart of Prism and the story it tells?
Prism is a land and a story filled with flawed, yet lovable, characters. Much like real life, there is no perfect individual, nobody who has completely 'made it', and many people who fall woefully short. Many people in Prism try and try hard, yet very few are inherently powerful. Many come from non-illustrious backgrounds - some even shamefully so. And few consider themselves to be the sorts of people destined to change the world; indeed, some of the characters in Prism are simply trying to get through life with as little embarrassment as possible.
And Prism is full of difficulties and conflict. The goals of one are rarely the goals of the other, and people find themselves marginalized, ostracized and generally doubted on more than one occasion. Rabbit in particular finds herself the victim of scorn and suspicion almost from her first moments in this new and glorious land. There is little in her experience of life to lead her to optimism, self confidence, or trust in her fellow man, and her experiences in Prism by and large reinforce this mindset. Rabbit sees herself as small and weak, nothing special, and largely at odds with those with whom she has to work.
And yet, through hardship and difficulty, loneliness and fear, Rabbit finds in Prism a chance for greatness. Rabbit discovers, when she puts her own goals to one side, a capacity for the heroic she would not have thought possible. Despite a history of rejection and loneliness, this one small girl knows more about love than anyone ever suspects and - through self denial and sheer determination - Rabbit finds she has a gift for healing greater than herself. When Rabbit steps out of the spotlight of her own life, she discovers a power she never knew she had.
So perhaps if there is one central theme in Prism it's that there is a potential for greatness in all of us that we can only discover when we put our own dreams and aspirations to one side. When we live fully to serve others, even the smallest and weakest of us becomes strong and potent, and capable of great things. When our own comfort is no longer our goal, we can all become vessels of healing. And when we lay down the conflicts which are precious to us, we can, each and every one, become a chalice of peace.
I hope the books of Prism will be like the very characters about whom I write; collections of individually powerless words which, when read in sequence, embolden readers to believe in the potency of service and the healing magnitude of humility,