Inspiration close to home
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.fremantlepress.com.au.
Author Cristy Burne.