Quotes by: Malorie Blackman
Children find prescriptive reading lists daunting, and they are a dangerous thing to have in schools.
I remember, when I was at school, we would have a 10-minute storytelling session where we'd all sit on the floor cross-legged, and the teacher would read. It became something we all really looked forward to. That was part of the reason I grew to love stories.
What I would like to do is make sure every primary school child has a library card, so where parents don't get their children library cards, we'll see if we can get schools to step in and make sure that every child has one.
What I want is to try and get across the idea that reading for pleasure is so beneficial. And turn children on who have maybe been switched off reading or never found a love of it in the first place.
Part of my job as Children's Laureate is to visit schools and talk about my love of books and stories and encourage them all to do it as well - to read, to write, to never be afraid of their own voice. Because we all have something to say.
We had a few non-fiction books at home, but my dad was of the opinion that fiction was a complete and utter waste of time because it wasn't real - so what was the point of reading it?
What I wanted to do was use literature and different kinds of stories and poems as a springboard, tapping into the creativity of our teens - I wanted teenagers to come up with their own creative responses to literature - using books themselves as a starting point.
I think what we need, especially in publishing, is more commissioning editors and editors who are people of colour.
Shakespeare's 'Othello' was inspired by Cinthio's 'A Moorish Captain'; his 'Hamlet' came from Saxo Grammaticus's 'Amleth.'
Books teach children to see the world through the eyes of others and empathise with others. It's about the story.
I have encountered those who feel that libraries have served their purpose and are no longer needed. There are those who consider them a soft target when it comes to local authority budget cuts. In certain political quarters, there is a refusal to see that our public library service needs active protection.
If a child wants to read 'Twilight' over Middlemarch, they should be encouraged - the important thing is to get them reading in the first place.
When I wrote 'Noughts and Crosses', I was halfway through it when I realised this was very like 'Romeo and Juliet'... as long as you make it your own, and put your own spin on it, I think it's brilliant to use other great work to find your own voice.
You can have all the talent in the world, but without determination, you won't get very far.
What I'm trying to do is to write a story. If you take something from it, that's wonderful; if you don't, that's wonderful as well.
I think fan fiction is the way most writers start, and the same goes for music and design.
We need more people working in the publishing industry itself who are people of colour.
I don't believe in regrets. There are a few things I'd do differently, but I can't go back in time and redo them, however much I might wish to. All I can do is learn from past mistakes and move forward.
In a television interview, I said that diversity in our children's books should include the adventures of disabled children, travellers and gipsies, LGBT teens, different cultures, classes, colours, religions. It shouldn't be a token gesture, nor do such stories need to be 'issue-based'.
Children will go with any story as long as it's good, but white adults sometimes think that if a black child's on the cover, it is perhaps not for them.
I personally, as a teenager, didn't like books I felt were trying to preach to me... I did not believe in happy endings. I wanted to read books which reflected life as I thought I knew it.