Bet you thought I'd up and left for good? Sorry you're not so lucky because yes I'm back all over again. I wasn't wasn't supposed to be writing this because I am supposed to be doing the legitimate writing whenever I get a minute but I had written a piece regarding a discussion on YA Lit I was part of and thought I would share it. So here it is...
I got an invite some weeks ago to partake in a discussion on Young Adult Literature, with the award winning and controversial Melvin Burgess and the award winning Celine Kiernan, what an honour! It all happened on Monday the 17th of October in Pearse Street library, organised by the brilliant Aoife in Children’s Books Ireland, thanks Aoife. It was a bonus that our chair for the evening is one of my favourite people, Niall McMonagle, even if he does ask difficult questions… well maybe not difficult as much as insightful and thought provoking, which made for an interesting chat. It was great to listen to different authors discuss their craft, it’s amazing how much it varies for us all.
I have to apologise that I was stumped when Niall asked about YA authors that we admired. I know, I know, how the hell could I not name anyone? When there are so many brilliant writers out there. My answer is two-fold, firstly because of my fantastically crazy kids, six in total, I get very little time to myself so any moment I have free I write. Reading books is a luxury I’ve had to sacrifice (along with tv, magazines, surfing the web etc) to become an author. I’m sure this will change…someday. Secondly in those rare few moments before sleep or when I cannot sleep I do have a book on creative visualisation and other books on positive motivation, which I dip in and out of, they really help to re-focus and re-energise me when I need it.
The discussion ended all too soon and just in that last moment a lady from the audience posed a very interesting question, ‘were we, the authors, concerned that our books, which all deal with the issue of being gay to different degrees, would prompt people to become gay, even as a passing phase, because it’s fashionable?’ Celine became a tad irate and reminded the woman that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, Melvin laughed and hoped they’d become gay for longer than five minutes, he thought they might even enjoy it and want to be gay for longer. Me, well I didn’t get the chance to answer…until now!!! I think well done to the lady for posing the question, it’s a difficult thing to do in this day and age, especially when we’re supposed to be so PC, considerate, diplomatic, inclusive, inoffensive, liberal, multicultural, non-discriminatory, non-racist, non-sexist, respectful, sensitive etc. We have to remember that the catholic doctrine still believes that it is wrong to be gay and for generations now the Catholic Church has had a lot of power over its many followers, like all religions it doesn’t allow people to question, you accept the teaching of the church and that’s it. It is only in recent years that people have begun to question and stand up to the church. So I don’t think it is the fault of people, who have been forced to believe for years, albeit wrongly, that it is wrong to be gay. But asking and expecting them to suddenly accept the complete opposite is unfair, especially if we are expecting them to accept it without raising their concerns or questions. It is only through reasonable discussion and talking openly about being gay that people will come to understand and accept that love is love regardless of whether it is two girls, two boys or a boy and a girl.
So what do you think? Interesting? It's about to chime midnight so I'm off to my leaba before I turn into a pumkin or something, or was that the coach?
PS Hi Juliette and thanks for looking me up.