Rosemary Sutcliff, author of The Eagle of the Ninth, drew on a ‘large lump of unlived childhood’ as she tried to show in her children’s books that good beats evil, and satisfaction can come from doing ‘right. Because of Still’s Disease she missed much usual childhood activity with long bouts of illness and many lengthy hospital stays.
I was trained at art school, but then the desire to scribble came over me. I got my interest in history from my mother who had a sort of minstrel’s, rather than historian’s knowedge. Inaccurate, but full of colourful legend. I disliked history at school.
They do say that to be a successful children’s writer one has to have a large lump of unlived childhood in one. I certainly think I have that.
You have to show children that good does overcome evil, but that does not necessarily mean that the old lady you helped then paid for your ballet lessons. The satisfaction should just be coming from the fact that you have done right.