In­spi­ra­tion close to home

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Literature -

CRISTY Burne started life the way many au­thors do – as a vo­ra­cious reader of books.

Read­ing four or five books at a time as a child, de­vour­ing the likes of The Fa­mous Five, Nancy Drew and The Three In­ves­ti­ga­tors, Burne had an early ap­pre­ci­a­tion for chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture.

She started her ca­reer as a writer for a chil­dren’s sci­ence mag­a­zine and now, a pub­lished au­thor, Burne said she some­how ‘lucked out’ in man­ag­ing to com­bine her child­hood as­pi­ra­tions into one amaz­ing job.

“As a kid I wanted to be a kinder­garten teacher, then a book­shop owner, then a back­packer, then a sci­en­tist,” she said.

“I’ve some­how com­bined all these into my dream job: writ­ing about sci­ence and ad­ven­ture for chil­dren.

“I’m ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about the im­por­tance and magic of chil­dren’s books be­cause by the time you’re an adult you’ve read maybe thou­sands of books, but when you’re a kid each new book plays a vi­tal part in in­flu­enc­ing who you might be­come.

“That’s why writ­ing for chil­dren is such a priv­i­lege and a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Her lat­est book, To the Light­house, is a story jam-packed with the in­gre­di­ents needed to make a book chil­dren want to read: ad­ven­ture, ex­cite­ment, friend­ship and dan­ger. She said she did not need to look far from home for the story’s in­spi­ra­tion.

“I wrote To The Light­house af­ter a win­ter fam­ily hol­i­day on Rot­tnest. It poured with rain some days and shone like sum­mer other days and we had the best time,” she said.

“It’s based on a beau­ti­ful, on­go­ing friend­ship be­tween my el­dest son and a girl named Emmy who lived on our street, but it’s also based on my own friend­ship with my best friend from high school.

“The char­ac­ter of Isaac is named for our 10-year-old neigh­bour, a vo­ra­cious reader who helped edit and guide the book through many rewrites.

“The real Isaac let me know which jokes worked, or when the char­ac­ter Isaac didn’t ring true.”

Burne will be among some of Perth’s best chil­dren’s au­thors at­tend­ing The Great Big Kids Book Read at the State Li­brary from 3pm to 5pm on Satur­day.

Her new book is avail­able from www.fre­

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek d468587

Au­thor Cristy Burne.

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