Best question from Melbourne Writers Festival yesterday. In fact it’s one of the best questions I’ve been asked ever. In my talk I tell the true childhood story of an old lady who lived in a mansion who we called the witch. Q: ‘If that lady was still alive today, what would you say to her?’ A shiver went through me. As I answered I felt a lump form in my throat. ‘My answer: ‘I would tell her on behalf of all the neighborhood kids how sorry we all are for bullying you and calling you names. And then I would invite her in for a cup of tea.’ I had never thought about this before. Something that happened so long ago had suddenly collided with the present. Kids can certainly teach us grown up’s a thing or two.
The illustration of the witch in the mansion was from a student’s notebook that she showed me later during the book signing.