If there’s one thing certain about life it’s that, at some point, things are going to get tough.
At some point, you’re going to feel as if you’re drowning.
The failure of an exam, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one … or the steady drip-drip of day-to-day stress – any of these can pull you under, leaving all thoughts of achieving your dreams furthermost from your mind.
But it’s at these times that we need our dreams the most.
It’s at these times that our life goals can become life rafts.
One of the nicest things about writing for young adults are the emails I receive from readers.
Six years ago, when my first YA novel was published, a girl emailed me to let me know what she thought of it and to tell me all about her own writing dreams.
Her passion for writing shone through her email and her zest for life was infectious.
We kept up an intermittent email correspondence for the next three years and she kept me up to date on her latest hopes and dreams.
Then it all went quiet.
I found out a couple of years ago that she’d succumbed to an eating disorder and given up on her writing dreams. ‘I’m under too much pressure,’ she told me. ‘I can’t be bothered with writing any more.’
Her words broke my heart.
Because I know better than anyone how important it is to cling to your dreams when the going gets tough.
My own writing dream carried me through and ultimately out of, an abusive relationship. It repaired my shattered self-esteem and brought me happiness beyond my wildest dreams.
And this was the motivation behind my new novel The Moonlight Dreamers – to encourage others to dare to dream, even when the going gets tough. Especially when the going gets tough.
To my absolute delight, it appears to be working: In the weeks running up to publication I started receiving messages from book-sellers and reviewers, telling me how the book had inspired them. Here are a small selection:
‘It has been what I can only describe as a transformative experience. Maybe once every year a book like this comes along to tell me to keep going. I’m definitely a Moonlight Dreamer.’
‘Within the pages of this book I lost myself, but it was within these pages that I found myself too. Sensational and unforgettable, falling in love with this book came as naturally as breathing. The best book I’ve read all year.’
‘The Moonlight Dreamers is the book I had waited to be written for years. Female empowerment, realistic, creative characters with extraordinary ways of looking at the world. We need more of this in the world.’
‘This inspirational story about following dreams and the power of female friendship is as rich,warm and cheering as being curled up with a mug of hot chocolate on a bitterly cold day.’
The Moonlight Dreamers officially launched today and you can order a copy from Amazon – who have made it their YA Book of the Month(!) – here.
My publisher, Walker Books, have also set up a Moonlight Dreamers website – moonlightdreamers.com – which is crammed to the rafters with videos, posts and other fun resources designed to help you dare to dream. There’s also an Oscar Wilde plot generator – what better reason do you need for stopping by?
I’ll regularly be blogging at the new site and featuring inspirational guest posts from some seriously interesting people, so come on over and check it out. And if you’d like to write for the site, I’d love to hear from you.
Let me leave you with the Oscar Wilde quote that forms the beating heart of The Moonlight Dreamers:
‘Yes, I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees dawn before the rest of the world.’
Here’s to Moonlight Dreamers, the world over!