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March 6, 2015

Reading with an Eleven-Year-Old (@satiswrites)

by Chris

Good morning, everyone (or evening, if you prefer)! My name is Chris, and I’m thrilled to be writing to you from the digital pages of Girl Who Reads. I’m not actually a girl a it happens, but I do sometimes read, so I suppose I half-qualify.

The Redemption of Erath
I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself to you; with luck, I’ll be appearing here regularly, so we might as well get to know each other. I live in New Jersey with my wife and eleven-year-old son, and I suppose I’d think of myself as a husband and father first and foremost—so long as the qualifiers ‘negligent’ and ‘lazy’ are added in front. I have a day job, but we won’t talk about that. By night (and day, and afternoon when I’m not napping), I’m the author of the epic fantasy series The Redemption of Erâth, about a young boy growing up in a world of Darkness and despair. Yes, Darkness is capitalized.

I’m not famous yet, which is a shame, because then you would have heard of me. My book has an Amazon Kindle ranking of about 1.4 million, which I tell myself is better than a million other books, so it can’t be that bad. I imagine that when I am famous, people will ask me questions like, “What made you want to write?”, and “What are you going to do with all that money?”. The answers will inevitably be, “My son,” and “Keep it.”

You see, while I used to be a voracious reader as a child (I had read every book in English class long before they were introduced), as an adult my pacing has somewhat slowed. There was a point in my late twenties where I doubt I read anything heavier than a music magazine. Then my son came along, and soon enough he was able to understand and appreciate good literature too.

We’ve read all sorts together, from Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter and Treasure Island. He got scared stiff the first time we read A Christmas Carol. The funny thing is that, although some of these stories I knew well from my own childhood, many I was reading with him for the first time. It’s made me appreciate that ‘children’s’ literature and ‘adult’ literature are not quite so separate as they might seem, and what might be written off as a kid’s book by one reviewer could be genuinely entertaining to another.

There are of course far too many books in the world, and no one could read them all (if only!). There are books my son has read (The Hunger Games, for example) that I may never get around to looking at. But when it comes to choosing books for myself, I tend to filter it through him, now—would an eleven-year-old enjoy this? We’re soon approaching the age at which I first read the Greatest Book Ever Written, and I can’t wait to share it with him, as my parents did with me. I wonder if its tale of growing up, domestic abuse, unrequited love and tragedy will enthrall him as much as it did me. We’ll soon find out!

What books do you remember reading to yourself/with your parents growing up? What books do you read/plan to read with your own children? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Oh, and the Greatest Book Ever Written? Great Expectations, of course!

About the Author:

Raised between the soaring peaks of the Swiss Alps and the dark industrialism of northern England, beauty and darkness have been twin influences on Chris' creativity since his youth. Throughout his life he has expressed this through music, art and literature, delving deep into the darkest parts of human nature, and finding the elegance therein.
These themes are central to his current literary project, The Redemption of Erâth. A dark epic fantasy, it is a tale of the bitter struggle against darkness and despair, and an acknowledgement that there are some things the mind cannot overcome.
Written from a depth of personal experience, Chris' words are touching and powerful, the hallmark of someone who has walked alone through the night, and welcomes the final darkness of the soul.
However, for now he lives in New Jersey with his wife and eleven-year-old son.
website  *  Amazon  *  Goodreads


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