One of the most important aspects of being a writer, especially of children's books, is that you have a responsibility to help develop young minds. But these young minds rarely have credit cards or suitably large enough allowances to buy books because, hey, you could get twelve packets of crisps or a six-pack of Coca Cola for the price of a paperback and who wouldn't want that sort of sugar rush on a Friday morning after a hard week of learning your times tables, right?
And even if they did have the money and were forced to spend it in a bookshop how are they to know which book will provide the moral, social and mental stimulation a young mind needs? What book provides the essential vitamins to make a brain grow?
I have no idea. Probably something by Phillip Pullman. Or Jackie Wilson. Or maybe Jackie Collins. I forget which.
My book ('Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress' or just place, yet dynamic, THE SAVAGE FORTRESS in the US) has been out and so far Mumsnet haven't added it to their essential reading list. This needs correcting.
Now, mothers of the world, I feel your pain. Life's busy and the little ones are growing fast and your husband, bless him, is working all hours at the office and, well, your son isn't getting the attention that he needs, is he? Be honest. You try your best but you are, after all, not a MAN.
I know it's the 21st Century and David Beckham is a role model to millions, but what does a growing boy need? You may think you have it under control, but do you? Really? Please, take another look at your son as objectively as possible. But first tell him to put the cat back down, it's not meant to be swung around like that.
1. Is your son into hair products?
2. Does he have a sense of fashion?
3. Does he listen to Alex Clare?
4. Does he have female friends?
If you answred 'YES' to any of these then I'm afraid your son may be...SENSITIVE. Unless you do something IMMEDIATELY then it could be worse, he may become...AN EDWARD.
I know. You thought it couldn't happen to your child, but it could, oh so easily. Why is he listening to soopy love songs when he should be listening to the lamentation of the women and why is he busy with his hair when he should be busy crushing his enemies under his sandaled feet?
"But, Sarwat, what can I do to prevent my son from becoming... *choked sob* an... *another choked sob* an Edward?"
Well, all I can say is 'calm down, Dear', the answer is at hand. Now, my book have been out for a while and in a report earlier this week scientists have discovered children (including boys) are maturing at an earlier age than before. I'm sure by the time the research is complete they'll discover that reading Ash Mistry makes a boy MANLY.
Yes! There are eight year old boys who, on finishing my book, have woken up the next day to find they now have CHEST HAIR and BEARDS! An entire generation of boys could be saved from the ignomy of being EDWARDS, but only if they read the right book (which is mine, BTW, incase the subtext is too subtle).
Simply put, reading Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress/The Savage Fortress will make your son MANLY. We'll have your child out in the woods wrestling large carnivores and engaging in scarification rituals by the end of the fifth chapter. Or your money back*.
Next week I'll be reporting why Parvati, a half-demon assassin, is the ideal role-model for eight-year old girls.
*Terms and Conditions apply. Obvs.