At a time when I'm about to write my fourth young novel about endangered species, I've heard on the radio this week that authors are considered by some to be a critically endangered species! YIKES! Is this going to be my first and only blog?
It's certainly true that it's harder and harder to earn a living as an author. I know, we've all read the major success stories in the press, but, as in any other walk of life or profession, very few hit those dizzy heights of fame or income. For the rest of us, it's more often than not a second income from another source that keeps our heads above water. The widespread discounting of books has hit us straight in the pocket, and now the advent of ebooks threatens us again.
We're also expected more and more to be performers as well as authors - something not all of us are comfortable with, though coming from an amateur theatrical background I've always quite enjoyed performance storytelling. God forbid that it should become a prerequisite to being published that an author should be adept at public presentations of their work.
I like being an author - most of the time! - and books have a vital role to play in igniting and fanning the imaginations of children and adults. So if authors are critically endangered, I hope help is on the way - and lots of it! In the meantime, I'm taking the Brook family off to save black rhinos in Kenya, and no doubt nine-year-old Joe will wind up in some sort of pickle (danger), as he always does.
The International Rescue series is being published by Bloomsbury in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London. The first two titles - PAWPRINTS IN THE SNOW and SHADOWS UNDER THE SEA will be published in February 2012.