Happy Birthday, Berlie Doherty, born 6 November 1943
Requiem took me ten years to write! I also wrote six books for children and several plays at the same time. Children of Winter took me about two weeks – the story just fell out of my head on to the paper! But usually, a children’s novel takes about twelve months, a picture book about a day. But that doesn’t take account of the years spent thinking.
- But why do I do it? Because I love writing more than anything else, I suppose!
- I think writing was a compulsion and still is – whatever new experience I have I feel a need to write it down, and my writing will include the physical description of the place where it happened, the emotions I felt, the people I met, even the conversations I had. Other people take photographs or paint pictures, but I need to write everything down.
- Try lots of different things – poetry, stories and plays. Try to write something every day, even if it’s a diary. Try to describe a place, or a person, or an event every week. And never imagine for a moment that it’s going to be easy!
- I want children to be fascinated or excited or moved by what I write. But I also want to write about something that matters both to them and to me.
Doherty is an English novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter. She is best known for children’s books, for which she has twice won the Carnegie Medal.
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