There are not many authors who can write compelling stories that both adults and children can both love. John Boyne, who wrote 'The Boy in Striped Pyjamas' is one such author. He says himself that it's not a matter of writing books for children that adults will like; it is all about good story telling. John Boyne did a degree in literature at Trinity College in Dublin after which he took and year out and then went on the Malcolm Bradbury's creative writing course at the University of East Anglia. Here he won the Curtis Brown award and never looked back.
Another great children's and adult author is Roald Dahl who was born in Cardiff in 1916. He didn't get much praise for his writing and was even told by his English teach he would never succeed in writing. This put him off going to university. After a stint in the Royal Air Force he rose to fame in the 1940's and went on to become one of the world's bestselling authors. In 2008 the Times places Dahl sixteenth in its lit of 'The 50 great British Writers since 1945'. His books are known for their un-expecting and surprising endings, often using very dark humor. He worked at Cadbury the chocolate company which is where he got his inspiration for writing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which he wrote in 1964 and made in a film 1971 but renamed Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. Apparently he dreamed of inventing a new chocolate which would impress Mr Cadbury himself. Instead he used his imagination to create the famous chocolatier and factory. Matilida was his most successful book which sold over half a million copies in 6 months, capturing hearts of many children and adults alike. Like most of his bestselling books Matilda was made into an award winning film.
JK Rowling is probably the most recent author of childrens and adults books who is on everyone's radar thanks to the great success of the Harry Potter Series. She has won numerous awards including an OBE in 2001, in 2010 was voted the most influential women in the UK by leading magazine editors. According to the Sunday Times Rich List J K Rowling is now worth an estimated �530million. Joanne Rowling which is her real name is also just as famous for her 'rags to riches' life story. She went from living on benefits as a single mum to become a multi millionaire within 5 years.
The Harry Potter books are a great example of stories that appeal to people of all ages. From the research I did for this article I found out some useful tips on writing great children's and adult stories. For a start you shouldn't write for a specific age group, just write your book and let its market find it. Build a believable world and write about universal themes. J K Rowling does this cleverly in the Harry Potter series. She manages to incorporate the classic causes of bullying, racism, snobbery and jealousy into her magical world of Hogwarts. This gives readers a chance to identify the characters regardless of the actual setting.
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