Today I’m pleased to welcome an author I’ve actually had the chance to meet in person, not once but several times – Keris Stainton, whose new book, Starring Kitty (A Reel Friends Story), is published 24 July. (Amazon have it wrong. Honest.)
Over to Keris, on the theme of Dreams and Regrets.
I like to say that the only thing I regret is not eating the last slice of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had, at my friend’s house a few years ago. But that’s not true. I have stacks of regrets, even though I know they are completely pointless.
And while I do regret some things I did do too, it is of course the things I didn’t do that niggle me the most. Actually it’s the reason I didn’t do them that bothers me. It was because I didn’t think I was good enough. At anything. For anything. I wanted to be a writer, but my careers officer told me that was unrealistic and I believed her. I wanted to leave school early and go to work at the Liverpool Playhouse (where I’d done my work experience), but I let my parents talk me out of it (and then failed my A levels anyway, because I really didn’t want to be there).
I kept getting – sometimes even making – really great opportunities and then letting them slip away because I was scared. Always scared. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties, after I’d had my first son, that I decided that being scared wasn’t a good enough reason. I had to feel the fear and… you know. And I did. And it changed my life. And I’m still scared a lot of the time. I still feel like an imposter. I still go to events like the YA Literary Convention at the weekend and feel like a competition winner. But that’s ok. Because one thing I’ve learned is that so many other people feel the same way.
As I get older, I find myself looking at younger people and wanting to tell them that they can do anything. That they’ve got plenty of time. That they shouldn’t be scared. I want to grab them and say “Do you know how amazing you are? Do you know all the things you can do?!” But a) that would be creepy and b) I don’t think they’d really hear it or believe it. I know I wouldn’t have done. So I try to put it in my books instead.
Starring Kitty is the first book in the Reel Friends series and it’s about Kitty and her friends Sunny and Hannah learning what they want from life and realising that there’s a much bigger world than the one they’ve experienced so far, that they can choose where to go and what to do. I want to make them braver than I was. Although of course there will be challenges, I want them not to be so easily put off. I plan to make them grab every opportunity and squeeze all the juice out of it. And I hope the same for my readers.
And for me too. Because it’s not too late. It’s never too late. And I’m starting with pizza.
Good advice for us all there. Would pizza for breakfast be a mistake?
Do check out the other posts so far on the blog tour (and note forthcoming from the banner):
Catnip books – exclusive first look
Rachael Lucas – guest post.
Stephanie Burgin – an interview with Keris
Peter Jones author – top 5 fictional couples
Sister Spooky – book people are the best people and 20 questions
And the next stop will be with Carly Bennett at Writing from the Tub