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Robert E. Swindells is an author famous for writing stories for young adults.
The author was born in Bradford, Yorkshire of England. He is now 82 years old and has written over 40 books thus far.
His first written book was 'When Darkness Comes,' published in 1973 by the Brockhampton Press of Stenhousemuir. Even though his books are for young adult readers, he has always written the complicated truth through his stories. Some of his other books are 'Nightmare Stairs,' 'A Serpent's Tooth,' 'Ghost Ship To Ganymede,' and more.
Robert Swindells is a renowned English author who has become famous for writing children's and young adult novels. His childhood was greatly influenced by World War II, family issues, his struggle to realize his dream, and more.
On March 20, 1939, Robert Swindells was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in England. World War II heavily influenced his childhood. He didn't have it easy even after the war ended. His parents fought constantly, and he had four other siblings, so the household was always boisterous. His mother had taught him to read before he started school, and he caught on pretty quick. Reading became an escape for him from the mayhem of his house and problems in his life.
He had always wanted to become a primary school teacher. Still, because of the inability of his parents to provide proper education and time to him, he was unable to get into the grammar school that would help to get into a college. He resented his father for some time from then on. However, the school he was selected in had an English teacher who inspired him to do his best. When he started writing stories at such a young age, his teacher encouraged him to participate in a country-wide contest, and Robert Swindells won the essay contest beating out even many grammar school candidates.
Robert Swindells has worked various jobs in his life. He started his career by working for a local newspaper after graduating at the young age of 15. His relationship with his father did not get better, and to get out of the house, he joined the Royal Air Force and went away for three years.
Once he got back, he didn't re-enlist and got a factory job. He also got married, and two daughters were born within a short time. While Robert Swindells worked in the factory, he started taking classes during the evenings. Within two years, he passed the exams and applied for college for teacher's training.
During attending classes in his new college, he found a new love for children's novels. That's why he combined writing books for young people or young adults and training to be a primary school teacher. He later embraced his passion, so he quit teaching and became a full-time writer.
Robert Swindells is quite vocal about the things he is passionate about and the things he has a particular hatred and anger towards. He has also talked about his books, childhood, and more in an essay he wrote for the SAAS - Something about the Author Autobiography Series.
Robert Swindells has consistently opposed nuclear weapons and supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He once said that his book, 'Brother In The Land,' "... came out of my own anger and frustration … you can't kill selectively with nuclear weapons, you wipe out millions of people …". This probably came from his horrific childhood memories of World War II. He said in SAAS that when he was a child, he used to visualize German people, especially soldiers, as "black, hairy creatures with fangs who dropped bombs from aeroplanes."
The author had a rough time in childhood with his four siblings. The memories of World War II already haunted him, and when he wanted to escape reality by delving into books, he was unable to, owing to the extreme noises of his siblings. He said, "my mother had taught me to read before I started school and … at six, I was an avid reader, but our little home was becoming crowded, and it wasn't easy to find a quiet spot to sit with a book … I learned to sink so deeply into whatever fantasy I was reading about that mayhem might erupt all around, and I wouldn't even notice. Books became an escape route for me. A way out of the house. Out of the city. Out of my ordinary life."
He said about the teacher who inspired him to start writing, "I don't know to this day why that man was at [the school] … He could have been teaching in a grammar school where the rewards would've been greater, and I would have missed out on a pivotal experience." He said about his book 'Brother In The Land,' "A long-time activist with the anti-nuclear movement, I'd poured my soul into that book…" Additionally, when asked about his desire, he said, he wishes to "see the day when every child everywhere will enjoy a childhood without hunger, anxiety, war, or any form of deprivation."
The author Robert Swindells has achieved many things in his life. Some of the major events of his life were his first novel, winning many Annual Book Awards, the Carnegie Medal given by the Library Association, and more. He came out in third place when he stood as a candidate for a by-election in 2010.
His love for children's books made him realize that he had created stories for younger readers. That's why he asked the advisors if he could turn in a children's novel instead of the stipulated essay required to complete the degree. As the advisors agreed, Robert Swindells wrote his first novel, 'When Darkness Comes.' The story was not only loved, but he was also advised to send it to a publisher. The manuscript was accepted by the first publisher he had mailed it to within a week. Brockhampton Press of Stenhousemuir in 1973 published Robert Swindells' first children's novel.
He quickly started teaching full-time after graduating. His marriage didn't last long, but he remarried after six years. It took seven years from the publication of his first children's novel to commit as a professional author in 1980 completely.
He had to go through a tough time until his novel 'Brother in the Land' was published in 1984. The novel 'Brother in the Land' is about how life remains on the planet after a nuclear holocaust. 'Brother in the Land' reflects the author's thoughts on nuclear weapons and the destruction it brings. Additionally, 'Brother in the Land' was his first mainstream success as it won him a Guardian Award nomination and a Children's Book Award. Partly on the strength of 'Brother in the Land,' he received a master's degree in 1988 from the School of Peace Studies at Bradford University.
After 'Brother in the Land,' he wrote many critically acclaimed novels. He won the highest honor of Britain for all children's writers in 1994, the Carnegie Medal given by the Library Association for his novel, 'Stone Cold.' It was given in recognition of that year's outstanding children's book by a British subject.
Robert Swindells stood for the Worth Valley ward of Bradford City Council in the 2010 by-election and the 2011 local elections as a candidate for the Green Party of England and Wales. In the by-election of 2010, he got 11% of the total vote and was put into third place.
Robert Swindells has always written his stories based on his beliefs and experiences, like his frustration towards the injustice in society, nuclear attacks and weapons, introducing world dangers to his young readers, like serial killers, and more.
His book, 'Stone Cold' is based on the injustice that constantly happens in society no matter how much people try to stop them. The book won him the Carnegie Medal. He also slept in an uncomfortable situation and lived roughly, similar to a homeless person's life for three nights in London, to write more realistic descriptions in his story. The book tells the story of a serial killer that kills homeless teenagers. It proves that he respects his younger readers that they will understand the violence in his book, which made his art different and set another industry standard.
Robert Swindells has a specific hatred and anger towards nuclear attacks, and he has always brought out the difficult issues of humanity, like these, through his writing. That's what he portrayed in his story 'Brother in the Land' through a boy who struggles to live in an afterworld of nuclear holocaust.
His short novel, 'Staying Up,' depicts the intensity of adolescence in a social context. The short novel can be a little intense, but the dramatic turns and ending in the story can be breathtaking. He has also written thrilling, scary fiction stories, like 'Nightmare Stairs.'
'Nightmare Stairs' follows the life of a girl who discovers her family's thrilling secrets through her nightmare. There are many more stories written by the author that can give you a glimpse into Robert Swindells's emotions toward many things of the world. For example, 'A Skull In Shadows Lane,' 'The Secret Of Weeping Wood,' 'The Deep End,' 'The Ice Palace,' 'World-eater,' 'The Weather Clerk,' 'Roger's War,' 'The Last Bus,' 'Hurricane Summer,' 'Ghost Ship To Ganymede,' 'A Serpent's Tooth.'
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Robert Swindells facts, then why not take a look at Andrea Joseph Facts or Alfred Noyes facts.
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