|Markus Zusak writes . . .
When I was fourteen or fifteen I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I wanted to be 'somebody`, but I wasn`t sure exactly what. For the time being, I was more concerned with having boxing matches with my elder brother in the backyard. Usually, he beat me. Usually,we got into trouble once the rest of my family spotted the bruises. The environment we grew up in wasn't really the best for someone with an interest in reading and writing and words. Friends discouraged it, if anything ...
What I soon realised, though, was that everywhere I went there was a story. It was either happening or being told. On street corners, at school, at home. Stories were everywhere. Some were brilliant, some were violent, and some were about moments when one of us had risen above our situation and ourselves. I started creating them and living inside them. I sat on a slanted wall at my typical state high school, sometimes alone, sometimes with some mates who came down to talk. Sitting there, I watched the world and waited, but still I wanted.
On the wall, I watched that girl, and her boyfriend we all hated (because we wanted to be him). I watched a fight started, fought out, then won and lost. I watched as people drove past in cars and exposed themselves for the fun of it. Then, finally, I watched my life on that wall and decided what I wanted my own story to be. I wanted to be a writer.
I remember that time well, as it wasn't very long ago. I remember the desire and the want, and I realise now that a story sits in front of you. It's about how I came to write.