Friday, 1 November 2013

Enid Blyton - a thoroughly modern writer

photo(Duplicated from my Heartsong blog today.)

Recently, I had the chance to go to Newcastle's Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books. I had some time to kill in the morning so I had a lengthy browse of the fascinating and atmospheric Enid Blyton exhibition. Now, much has been discussed about the aspects of her books which today offend us as sexist, racist and simply Not On. And indeed, I spotted a book title which I won't even repeat here, though I'm sure at the time there were no problematic connotations at all.

Leaving all that aside, however, there was something that struck me as very modern. Blyton worked damn hard to promote her books, reaching out to engage with her readers. For example, she produced her own magazine, in which she advertised and promoted her own books. When I read that, and the information abut how industrious she was, and how much time she spent answering her vast piles of fanmail, it struck me that she might have been very at home engaging with her readers through social media.

So, don't let it be said that it's only modern writers who have to help promote their books. Enid Blyton worked her socks off, with both the writing and the promoting.

Yes, btw, that photo is not the right way up. Life is far too short to care. I have writing and promoting to do...


Murasakibrit said...

Wonderfully inspirational!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Australia at a time when reading the various works of Enid Blyton was virtually a rite of passage. I haven't read any of them since the 1970s so I can't speak to their modern-day PC-ness, but back in the day, I have to say that I LOVED them and read pretty much everything she wrote. And so I was pleased to see that she's remembered today, especially in learning that she worked her butt of promoting her work as us indie authors do today. VERY inspirational! Thanks for a great post.

Nicola Morgan said...

Oh, absolutely she is remembered today. Many of her books were recently updated and rereleased. I became a reader through her books, as so many UK children did and, as you've shown, children around the world.

Most successful writers work their butts off :)