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A lot of people seem to expect a story to carry a clearly defined message, a meaning and intent. Some authors do write with a specific cause in mind, a certain aim — but I have never been one of them, nor do I particularly expect anyone to see in my work anything I might have intended. Our viewpoints are too different, our experiences worlds apart. Oranges and Lemons or Sing a Song of Sixpence, another old memory: harmless fun, or the dark consequences of social inequality — it all depends on which child you ask. In much of what I write, I try and comprehend the viewpoint of all sides involved. Who do you sympathise with most? That depends on you. And who you identify with affects greatly what you take away.

I often explore things through writing that I couldn’t easily explore in person. Working with characters and ideals unlike my own is a wonderful way to expand my horizons, reaching understandings that I might never reach any other way, seeing the viewpoints of even those I bitterly disagree with. I might tell a story from a certain point of view, but it doesn’t follow that that’s a point of view that I wish to make other people agree with — only a point of view I was interested in, or one essential to the story. There’s no meaning there, no message, beyond the most important: the one that you see for yourself. What my work means is what it means to you, and what matters to you is what you see there. Perhaps you see a fun story, perhaps you see a moral, perhaps you see a rule to live your life by (anything’s possible!). Whatever it is, enjoy it to the full, because what you see is the most important thing of all.

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