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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fifties love affairs, a 'famos ritter' and a fairweather award - it must be Tuesday...

A children's author who sells a book every seven seconds in Britain  today admits that many of her readers have no idea how to spell.

Dame Jacqueline Wilson receives several hundred fan letters every week from children in Eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal but it's the Brits who have the worst spelling and grammar. 'Sometimes it is unintentionally and sweetly funny,' she tells The Times today, citing 'I want to be a famos ritter,'
 as one of her favourites.

Particularly well-known for the famous Tracy Beaker series, the author believes in facing tricky subjects head-on, such as divorce, abuse and mental health issues.  Her huge success also makes her the most borrowed children's author from our public libraries in the last decade.

Talking of decades, I was amazed to read the other day of a 105-year-old author of romantic fiction who has two more titles coming out this year.  Ida Pollock began writing when she was fourteen and has produced 123 novels -  eight of them in one year alone.

Mrs Pollock prefers to write about the attraction between men and women  'full of hope and romance' as opposed to some of the more explicit sexual overtones found in novels today. She likes her heroes to be rich and preferably older, with the ability to 'sweep in and save the day.'

These days she dictates her stories to her 69-year-old daughter Rosemary, but says she will never tire of telling stories.

Interestingly, Mrs Pollock's late husband was once married to Enid Blyton.  She herself helped found the Romantic Novelists' Association which recently made her an honorary vice-president to mark her
105th birthday.

I wonder what Ida Pollock thinks of the enormous success of e-books? Or, for that matter of writing blogs like this one?  In this first week of summer weather so far I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blog Award by  Barbara at March House books, whose own blog is included in Tesco's top ten book blogs for children.

Thanks, Barbara (or Bobbie as she likes to be called.) I will be posting my own list of questions and answers, not to mention other nominees next time. In the meantime - here's to more sunshine!



Linda Mitchelmore said...

A great and very interesting post, Marilyn, as per usual from you. But ah yes....spelling (ignoring the odd typo - and some of mine have been very odd!) little soapbox. As a judge of short story competitions, if I have three spelling mistakes in the first few paragraphs (and sadly, that is the norm these days) then I don't read any further.
Congrats on your blog award...:0

Guernsey Girl said...

I really am surprised and saddened by the idea of so many spelling mistakes in the short stories you judge, Linda. Surely people who want to write also read? No wonder there's no hope for the children! God to hear from you, as always.

Barbara said...

I’m afraid we Brits really are the worst at spelling. It was one of the things I worried about the most when I started my blog. I have a dictionary open on my desk, I use spell-check and grammar check but I know I still make errors. I wish it were not the case.
Lots of interesting things in this post and I’m looking forward to reading your questions and answers.

Elaineyross said...

I'm not great at spelling but at least I have an idea when something doesn't "look right". I'm also a great believer in the good old fashioned dictionary and make colleagues at work giggle when I reach for the Oxford. However, that's probably because I'm the oldest person in my office - I can't claim to being 105 yet though - here's hoping (or then again...)?