Author Malorie Blackman has revealed how ‘hard’ it was to get her first publishing deal.
The 59-year-old writer is best known for her Noughts and Crosses series which was been turned into a hit BBC series in 2020.
She recalled on Thursday’s Steph’s Packed Lunch that she received 82 rejection letters before a publisher agreed to take on her first novel Not So Stupid! in 1990.
“It was really hard actually,” the author said: “because my first eight or nine books were rejected. So it was two years, eight or nine books and 82 rejection letters later, before a single publisher said yes.
“That was sort of 31 years ago. For me it was an object lesson in, I knew I wanted to write and I wasn’t going to give up.
“Although I have to say that when I was about on my 60th rejection letter, I came that close to kind of giving up because I thought well if all of these publishers are saying no, then should I listen.
“But then I thought no, I really want to do this and I made a deal with myself that I’d wait until I had my 1000th rejection letter.”
Thankfully the author kept pursuing her dream, because it was in 2001 the first book Noughts and Crosses from the hit series of the same name was released.
Malorie has inspired children and young adults across the world to read and write their own novels and she was awarded an OBE for services to Children’s Literature in 2008.
“I love writing for children and young adults,” the author said: “I think it’s because the depth… and the imagination you get in children’s books and books for young adults and it meant that I could write in all types of different genres.”
Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays on Channel 4 from 12.30pm.
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