Curiouser and Curiouser
Curiosity is a powerful force. It can drive people to be better, to question things and yes, in certain cases to be annoying busybodies! But without curiosity, where would we be? One thing is for certain, Alice wouldn’t have had as many adventures; perhaps she wouldn’t even have found Wonderland. If she hadn’t been curious she would never have followed the White Rabbit down the hole.
Children are naturally curious, but as adults, dull ritualistic reality can squash this trait. Without the time or the energy we become stuck in what we know, in what’s safe. This is a tragedy. Being curious about the world and the people around you, can lead you on just as many adventures as Alice.
I’ve always been a curious person. When I was little I used to go exploring in my rain coat and wellington boots, rambling through my house and garden, letting my imagination take me to far and distant lands, all under the watchful eye of my mum.
Through the years I’ve fostered that curiosity as I’ve found it is a necessary trait for an author. The more questions I ask in life, the more I go looking for answers. Most of my stories and books start with a single question ‘What if’.
Never under-estimate the power of being curious. If the old explorers had not wondered what was across the sea, the world would still be thought of as flat. Curiosity has helped shape our world for the better. And, there is still so much more to explore.
One thing that has always peaked my curiosity is the paranormal. Monsters and myths fascinate me. Whilst writing my latest book, Lost in Wonderland I decided to include an Alaskan monster; a kind of mythical were-otter that steals the lost, the Kushtaka. When I first heard about it, I was fascinated. Growing up in England, I have been surrounded by history and ghost stores and magical legends. Everything from King Arthur, mushroom covered Faery circles and phantom huntsman that roam the countryside tracking their prey. But, the Kushtaka legend, and the fear it commands in the Alaskan communities was both undeniable and compelling. It does snow here in England, and when it does the whole country seems to embarrassingly grind to a cold white halt, but compared to the US, we have very few open spaces that you can truly get lost in, Which is why we don’t have a Kushtaka. He was clearly a bogey man that Alaskan parents told their children about to stop them from wandering off into the frozen wilderness. However, it seemed that the stories were so frightening that even as adults, the Kushtaka can still hold a certain sway over the people. I wanted to include a supernatural element in the story and the lost-munching hairy monster fitted the bill.
Without my curiosity of these creature, Lost in Wonderland would simply not exist. In fact, nor would any of my books and stories.
So, stop for a moment and think about the last time you were curious. Where did it lead you? Somewhere or something good I hope? I’d love to know, so please do comment below with your own curious adventures – And if you don’t have a recent one to share, go out and see what you can find. They say that curiosity killed the cat, but my, what a dull life that cat would have had without it!
Curious about me? I’ll also be doing a Twitter takeover for Young Entertainment Magazine on Thursday, Oct 27th 4-6pm EST for a Halloween tweet-feast https://twitter.com/YoungEntmag everyone is invited!
I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?
Writing was really a natural progression for me. So far I’ve had 35 short stories included in anthologies produced by publishers all over the world; my latest was included in Little Brown Book Group’sMammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. I have two YA series with the publishers, Evernight Teen:Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave.
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