Then comes in a shabby fumbling figure who, in answer to the question, ‘Why do you want to write a children’s novel?’ replies, “Well, I don’t exactly want to write one— I’ve written it. … Well, I suppose you could say that it’s about a bridge, a bridge over a fjord, a bridge that’s beginning to rust. As well as that, it’s about a trainee tea-taster, and an old lady who’s fallen in love with a policeman, so she keeps setting off her burglar alarm — and there’s a boy who’s stolen a piece of turf from the middle of a famous football ground — and they all meet, going across the rusty bridge in a fog, and realise they have met before; I suppose you could say that the story was concerned with wishes and expectations — or, how hard it is to sell your soul to the devil if he doesn’t want to buy your soul — well, anyway, it’s a kind of a ghost story.’

from The Way to Write for Children by Joan Aiken

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