....AND made my life ten times better. A tip of the hat to these demi-gods as part of Author Appreciation Week.
I was 7 and bored and the only thing I used to do was watch T.V. or scribble nonsensical verses, when a copy of the Secret Seven fell into my lap. Yes, I devoured it and yes, I moved on to the Famous Five, Five Find-Outers and Dog and the Adventure series and the Naughiest Girl series, St. Clair's, Malory Towers and every other book she wrote that I could find. With over 600 million copies of her books sold, this woman was my idol. When I was 9, my life's aim was to meet her (before I got to know that she had died 22 years before I was born). She made me keep reading and continue writing. My first ever attempt at a book was 'The Fantastic Five' (a Famous Five rip-off, as you can see). My friends and I got together to form such a group, too. Unfortunately, we never came across smugglers or suspicious incidents in and around our neighbourhood.
I've moved on from Blyton's writings. My writing, too, is very different from her's but she still is very, very important. She remains my personal God.
I really have nothing new to say about this fantastic woman. She inspired an entire generation. Yes, I belonged to the Harry Potter generation (okay, so I wasn't 11 when the first book came out, but I was 17 when the last one came out). She brought back Children's books into the forefront, she threw new light upon the fantasy genre. She didn't need a magic wand. Magic flowed from her pen. I often wondered what Rowling fed on to come up with something as magnificent as the Harry Potter series, I still don't know the answer to that...it just happens that she is an extraordinary person.
She made me wait for my Hogwart's invitation at 11.
She made me buy tons of books on magic so Hogwarts would see that I really was a witch and send me a belated invitation.
She made me hope.
Well, I'm still hoping.
While everyone went mad about Meg Cabot (no offense meant, I like you too, Mrs. Cabot), Anne Cassidy stood out as the 'Queen of Teen' for me. When I was 14, I came across Missing Judy and my, it totally blew me away. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was 'cause I'd never read a book about a girl with a missing sister before or maybe 'cause this was one book around that time where boys/potential crushes didn't take the centre-stage.
I was driven by an urge to find and read all her books. While I haven't read them all yet, I've read the ones I've found.
Anne Cassidy showed me a different kind of YA. One that I didn't just want to read, but I wanted to write, as well.
She rocked my world.
Last September, a YA reading group on Facebook held a giveaway. I joined in (the first time I entered a giveaway contest) 'cause I liked the sound of the book and guess what, I won!
That book was Taken By Storm and yes, it took my world by storm. The writing, the characters, the whirlwind of emotions..I was swept away. I loved that book so much, I wanted others to read it. That's why I started this blog. My first (okay, second) post was a review of the book. If not for Taken By Storm, Dreamcatcher's Lair wouldn't have come into existence. Angela Morrison's made a remarkable debut and followed it up with the equally wonderful, Sing Me To Sleep.
She has played an important part in inspiring my writing.
And changing my world with this blog.
And I thank her for that.