The Unkindness of Ravens by
Liam McNaughton and John Marshall
“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” — Chinua Achebe
College life is colourful, but it is even more colourful when two boys arrive in your office with a sense of urgency, wearing big smiles just before leaving for their Grade 9 camp, and announce, “Ma’am, we have just finished writing Chapter 10.”
Both Liam and John are active members of the Reading and Watching Club at College, with Liam being the Deputy Head of the Club in 2020.
It is hard to imagine that these are the two boys who arrived at College in 2018, who camped in the library at every opportunity and proceeded to devour as many books as they could. They were seen reading in the library during break and were the first to arrive on Saturday mornings.
Their Saturday reading habits developed into a writing habit. They spent most Wednesday afternoons in the John Jones Seminar room, or were sometimes permitted to use the College auditorium as their hideaway writing space. They used technology together with their iPads to make their collaboration easier.
A year later they were invited to attend the South African School Librarians’ Conference 2019 as Young and Upcoming Authors and to present their book titled “The Unkindness of Ravens” to an audience of approximately 100 teachers and librarians. The pair were praised by the librarians and their presentation was well received.
What is unique about this manuscript of theirs is that they have written in collaboration with each other. When asked whose ideas counted the most and were included in the book, John said with obvious satisfaction in his voice, “It helps being friends, and knowing each other well makes the writing process easier.”
The Unkindness of Ravens is book 1 in a series and is comprised of 14 chapters. Their book took just over a year to complete. Saturday the 25th January marked the memorable day that the draft manuscript was completed. The pair plan to submit this manuscript for publication soon.
Watch this space for more news on #TheUnkindnessOfRavens written by Liam McNaughton and John Marshall.