|A real, live schoolroom from the time|
of the school story heyday.
At some point in high school, I realised that I was only about 50 years behind the times with my favourite genre, since apparently the heyday of school stories was before World War Two. One of my favourite series, The Chalet School by Elinor Brent-Dyer, is indeed from this time period. EBD's writing style influenced mine a lot for a while, which is kind of a bummer, because it's not really a modern-day voice (and as much as I like her stories, her writing is actually kind of wonky), but I think I've managed to shift her out of my immediate consciousness and found her a place in the composite of authors who all influence me a little bit.
Moving to Britain was a revelation, since there are a lot more British school stories than American, and I could get my hands on a lot more of them. And thanks to the genius of JK Rowling and Harry Potter, the school story as a genre has been brought back from the vaults. Yay!
|Part of my Chalet collection|
So with school stories being my obsession in my reading and writing for a long time, I kind of stalled. It's only in the past few months when I've started reading writer blogs and intentionally expanding my horizons that I've become re-interested in genres I once knew... and have heard of a couple that I was previously unfamiliar with.
One of those "new" genres is dystopia. I haven't read any yet, because I was mid-semester when I heard of it and got a list of titles, a couple of which are now on my TBR list for Christmas break. (Yay, new stuff to read!) And since I haven't yet read any, there's every possibility that I don't really "get" what it's all about.
The last day of the semester, someone asked New Spanish Teacher about his writing and research. He mentioned that he has written some fiction, but didn't elaborate on that; instead, he told us about his academic writing. I'll give you the Reader's Digest version: Everything, sooner or later, gets back to the sun. Our food, our fuels, etc. And so we (humans) aren't all that different from plants. I don't remember all of what he said, but that's the gist.
|Scotland Street School Museum, |
(the pic above is also from this school)
So I wrote him an email, asking if his idea of everything coming back to the sun works its way into his fiction, because I could picture it as a dystopian plot. He said, " He knows me as a poor Spanish student, after all, not as an aspiring author, so I may have surprised him with the question.
And if he's gonna write it, by golly, he'd better hurry up. I'm about to find out about dystopia, and adding one more WiP to the stack doesn't bother me in the slightest.
I have a few weeks of holiday for reading and writing; what books do you recommend?