Extraordinary Lives – Avril Sabine

By October 18, 2015 Guest Blogs

Avril Sabine

Many of you will recognise the name of Avril Sabine, maybe not as an author (yet) but as a regular contributor and poster on our Book Club group The Cwts on Facebook.  She has very kindly sent us two guest blogs for use here, we hope you enjoy the first and look forward to the second.

From Avril’s site

Avril is a fiction writer who lives in Queensland, Australia. She mostly writes young adult speculative fiction, but has been known to dabble in other genres. Along with her family, Avril lives on acreage with various animals. Late at night and early mornings are her most productive times and she’s seen many a sunrise before heading to bed.

Extraordinary Lives

As readers, it’s so easy to think our lives are ordinary, especially for those of us who read speculative fiction filled with the extraordinary. I’m guilty of filling my books with things like shape shifting dragons, demon hunters, Fae, superheroes and ghosts. But that doesn’t mean they are completely unrealistic. I have based some of their characteristics on human traits, particularly that of never giving up in the face of adversity.
You don’t need to be a superhero to have an extraordinary life. Nor do you need to save lives, catch criminals, overcome natural disasters, invent amazing things or discover cures for the world’s ills.
The world is filled with quiet heroes, people who often don’t realise they are one. People who do things because they think it’s the right thing to do, or because it needs doing. That doesn’t make them any less a hero others can admire and say they wish to be more like them. Nor do these everyday heroes need to be perfect and have no faults. How can you aspire to be someone without at least some faults? It would feel like you were aiming for the impossible.

When I was seven-years-old, my younger brother and I went to a private school that segregated boys and girls during morning tea and lunch breaks. I couldn’t see a reason for this so I ignored their rules and continued to hang out with my brother. Some of my friends joined me in our games.
After all, our mum didn’t make us play in separate rooms when we were at home. Unless of course we were fighting, but that is another story altogether.
I didn’t see it as breaking the rules, or as standing up for my rights or fighting for equality. I only saw it as there being no reason for me to change something that wasn’t a problem at home.
The next year we went to a different school and I forgot all about that minor incident that had made very little impact on my life.

You can imagine my surprise when many years later, a woman came up to me and asked if I remembered her. She also told me I hadn’t changed at all. I apologised and told her I didn’t and she told me about how she’d looked up to me when we were kids because I fought against the old fashioned rules and joined the boys in their games. I was amazed at how different her perspective of the situation had been and how something so simple on my part had made such a big impact on her life. She learned there was no need to ignore inequalities and that you can stand up for equal rights.

I don’t see myself as a hero and I especially don’t see that seven-year-old girl, I once was, as one either. I was stubborn, determined and not going to do something that made no sense. But to others my actions meant so much more.
It’s possible to make a difference in the world by being yourself and to be someone’s hero even when you can’t see it yourself. We need the quiet heroes in all of our lives. Those who are willing to follow their own paths because they know it’s the right thing to do. Friends to be there for you when times are tough. Parents to catch us when we stumble. Friends who have our backs and strangers who offer a smile and a hello when we feel like the world has forgotten us.

I’m lucky I have so many heroes in my life, both family and friends. People I can look up to, people I can turn to for advice and people who I know are there for me no matter what.
Who are the people who have made an impact on your life? Who are your quiet heroes?

Avril is the author of more than twenty five novels and short stories. You can peruse her collections here.

 Avril Sabine US
 Avril Sabine UK

The 11 Most Impressive Historic Libraries

By | Guest Blogs, Libraries | No Comments
If you are the kind of person who finds yourself shedding a tear for everything lost in the burning of the famed library of Alexandria or feeling melancholy over thousands of destroyed Mayan codices, you can take some heart. There are still a good number of historic public libraries watching over the collected printed history of humanity.

And though the digital age would have you believe that such collections are out of date, the majesty of these hallowed halls would beg to differ. Take the gorgeous Raza library in Rampur, India which is said to be the most important collection of knowledge in South Asia. Just in its largesse, this historical center tells a narrative of the history of the region that cannot otherwise be made palpable.

Spanning from the 6th century and situated around the world, Oldest has put together their top 11 choices for the most invaluable historic public libraries, which together house millions of books and historical materials.

Which one is on your bucket list?

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John Boyne Chooses His Favourite Reads of 2018

By | Authors, Discussion and Recommendations, Guest Blogs | No Comments
During an event for Birmingham Literature Festival with John Boyne, he explained that he reads around 120 books a year and believes it is a key part of being a writer. The books he reads each year include many published that year. As Christmas fast approaches, Boyne has taken to Twitter to treated us all to his pick of the best books published in 2018 that he has read this year. In no particular order, these are the book Boyne recommends:
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John Boyne – Birmingham Literature Festival

By | Guest Blogs, Literary Events | No Comments
On the final day of the Birmingham Literature Festival, John Boyne was in conversation with the city’s own Kit de Waal, discussing his latest novel A Ladder to the Sky and his life as an author.

The event began with Boyne briefly outlining the novel, the tale of wannabe writer Maurice Swift who will do anything to make himself a famous writer including begging, borrowing and stealing stories. This was then followed by a brilliant reading from the book by the author himself which drew me in and made me want to read the book all the more.

Kit told John that she had greatly enjoyed A Ladder to the Sky, listening to the audiobook, narrated by Richard E. Grant, she was so gripped she didn’t want to get out the car to do her food shopping. Read More

Book Launch: Once Upon a Time in Birmingham

By | Guest Blogs, New Releases | No Comments
This year we commemorate the centenaries for the end of the First World War and the success of the Suffragette movement getting some women the vote – partial franchise in which women over 30 who met certain criteria were granted this right. To celebrate and remember these important parts of British history, the Birmingham Remembers Campaign was launched. Once Upon a Time in Birmingham: Women Who Dared to Dream has been created as part of this campaign. On the penultimate day of the Birmingham Literature Festival, this inspiring book was launched at an event hosted by the Birmingham Rep.
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One Comment

  • Wonderful post, Avril. I have had a few quiet heroes in my life. My best friend was a single mom, hard worker, and made a difference in her son’s life and many others, especially mine when she and her mom love adopted myself and my daughter when my blood family turned away from me, and now I have a wonderful sister and mom who teach us about unconditional love. My daughter is also a quiet hero in my life. She is 14 years old, has Epilepsy, severe anxiety, and has just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. She is a writer, taking after myself, and she is taking seriously the courses she needs to get in order to be a software engineer and website developer. My daughter, my sister, and my mom are the most incredible quiet heroes in my life, and I treasure them each day.

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