Of all the books I read as a child, one stands out above all others: Maurice Gee’s The halfmen of O. This a story of a Susan, who, with her cousin Nick, becomes trapped in the world of O. She becomes involved in a quest to restore balance to the world and save it from the evil Halfmen. I read it when I was about eleven and I’ve never forgotten it. Today this book has reminded me of how much I can’t live without my craft, of what it really means to me.
Gee is a New Zealand writer, but apparently his books have a far reach, in fact, I’ve just learned The halfmen of O is to be adapted into a movie. I am at once excited and apprehensive about this. Gee’s writing has stayed with me for more than two and half decades. He was the first author whose writing style I remember really appreciating in equal proportions to the plot. Even as young as I was, I could see the merit in Gee’s style. I wanted to emulate him so much that I wrote several stories that mimicked the book. The imagery of his words and the uniqueness of his style created an atmosphere I easily became lost in. These days I’m less inclined to emulate other authors, since I’ve found the joy of creating my own style. It is in constant evolution. This is one of the best things about writing, and being a writer – the constant evolution of the craft.