Dame Jacqueline Wilson

Patron Fellow

b. 1945

I was delighted to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.  I was particularly excited when I signed the register with Dickens’ pen. I hoped a tiny drop of his talent might leak into my hand as I held his pen – plus a spark of his amazing energy. Imagine being able in one day to write thousands of words of brilliant fiction, heartfelt journalism and long amusing letters; meticulously organise your busy household; carouse with your friends; plan an entertainment; dart off for a clandestine visit to your loved one; then manage a twenty mile walk through the night!  They don’t make writers like that any more.

Even so, today’s writers are still the most interesting people I know, and it’s a joy to be able to go to The Royal Society of Literature gatherings and listen to brilliant authors discussing all kinds of topics.  If you can’t make it to a meeting it’s great to be able to catch up on current literary views in the excellent journal.

My latest book Katy is a reworking of the American nineteenth century children’s classic What Katy Did.  I know some people have doubts about the current trend to appropriate classics but I think there’s a real need for a modern version of this particular book.  The original book about tomboy Katy is a delight, but the Victorian message that a paralysed child will walk again if she’s very good and holy makes us wince nowadays.  My modern Katy has to accept a very different outcome to her accident, but hopefully children will still think there’s a positive enjoyable ending.

The book I’m currently reading is The Story of Alice:  Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. It’s very thorough, full of fascinating detail, and extremely entertainingly written.

Jacqueline is pictured with her puppy Jackson who came from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

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