About Emma Fischel
I was girl 2, tucked in the middle – between brothers who spent sunny days playing cops and robbers, and rainy days playing Subbuteo. Crawling around the floor, flicking tiny plastic footballers around a tiny felt football pitch. This, for some reason, the brothers found gripping. Talk at the dinner table was one subject ONLY. Cricket.
Sisters were MUCH easier to understand. Sister 1 was the source of information on matters of importance to small girls. Sister 2 was a tiny human pet. A round-faced baby, solemn and watchful, with dark bobbing curls and beady brown eyes. I cultivated the round-faced baby carefully. For, once fully mobile – she was to be my playmate, the only one of my siblings likely to let ME be in charge.
Besides sister 2, there were other pets. Dogs and cats, hamsters and mice, stick insects and silkworms. I had a favourite cat, Kitty (the name – blame the brothers). Kitty never let me down. I told her all my secrets, and she kept them. At bedtime she cosied herself in among my nest of soft toys. I squeezed myself into what little space was left – always, ALWAYS with a book to read. Because bedtime was reading time. Book after book after book, read huddled under the covers.
Is THIS the moment I reveal all the books I wrote as child? Books stapled together, scrawled writing on narrow-lined paper? Books with interesting titles and fabulous plotlines? Sadly, there ARE none. I was outdoorsy – too busy climbing trees and splashing through puddles to write books. But, while not a writer, I was an inventor…
I was an inventor of SHOPS – a natural shopkeeper. I ran a delicatessen, selling the finest mud pies in the county, pies of many shapes and sizes, all priced up and named. I ran a conker shop. At the back, a complex machine, made from bits of hosepipes, old drainpipes, and boxes, all propped up on sticks. Conkers were rolled through, to be sorted by size – small, medium and large – then packed up in egg boxes, ready for sale in the shop front. My mother and sister 1 were MOST reliable customers. And my brothers? Less so…
I was an inventor of EXPEDITIONS – to space, to deserts, to jungles. And to the North Pole, on the hottest day of summer, sister 2 my faithful companion. Both dragging an old wooden sledge across the garden. Sweltering in Arctic explorer kit, backpacks so heavy with provisions each step was a struggle. Then, tucked away in the trees – building a snow shelter. Blankets, more blankets; boxes, more boxes.
And there, sweltering more, I did write… Our final diary entry from the Arctic, a tragic farewell to our loved ones back home.
But what of the DRESS, I hear you say? Your first true love?
Ah, yes… It arrived, a gift from a Norwegian relative, in a brown-paper package. Inside – the Dress, a pale blue check. It was instant TRUE LOVE, and a shock. I had never much cared for dresses. My mother said I should keep it for best – but I begged, I pleaded. We hardly ever wore BEST, I said. We were not BEST sort of children. If I waited for BEST to wear it, I might grow too tall. My mother, in the end, agreed. So all summer long I ran shops, climbed trees, and went on expeditions in the Dress. And that day – the day of the Dress, that my mother said I should keep for best – I learnt something. About the twin powers of persistence, and of persuasive argument. Which, in the end, is what writing is ALL ABOUT.
Three of My Books
…an original story, funny and exciting… and Ned is a complex, interesting character.
Andrea Reece, Lovereading4Kids
Ruth Ng, The Bookbag
Casts a powerfully entertaining spell… Fizzing with energy and humour…
… fairly crackles with excitement…
Andrea Reece, Lovereading4Kids
A satirical, imaginative fantasy….
The Sunday Times