What did Christina Courtenay dream of being when she grew up?

My lovely dreamy guest today on the Dream a Little Dream blogathon is fellow Choc Lit author, Christina Courtenay. She’s here to talk about childhood dreams.

Christina says:

Unlike Sue, I never dreamed of becoming an author.  Don’t get me wrong, I am and always have been a complete bookworm, but I was happy just being a reader until I eventually got bitten by the writing bug.  No, my dreams were very different and they changed on a regular basis.

Some people seem to be born knowing what they want to do in life – not me.  I always knew there were endless possibilities out there and every so often, one of them would fire my imagination, but never for very long.  At first, predictably, I dreamed of becoming a princess (yes, I read way too many fairy tales!).  And although that does happen to some people, I soon realised it wasn’t terribly likely.  There just aren’t enough princes around, sadly, at least not ones I’d like to marry!

Then I read about Tutankhamun’s treasure and instantly decided I wanted to be an archaeologist.  How fabulous would it be to find stacks of gold and jewels?  Being the first person for thousands of years to hold ancient artifacts in my hands?  Being famous?  But then I found out that most archaeologists spend their lives digging up nothing but tiny bits of pot shards and animal bones – not quite as glamorous.  Besides, it’s usually cold, wet and muddy and way too much like hard work!  Definitely not for me.

I enjoyed art and my dad suggested I should become an architect – sounded good to me!  So I started dreaming of designing fantastic Gothic-looking castles and award-winning buildings.  I spent hours drawing their facades and imagining the fabulous interiors.  There was only one problem – I’m useless at maths and apparently architects have to calculate stuff.  Damn!

But I also love languages and after having lived abroad for a while I began to dream of travelling the world, working as a diplomat, or perhaps at the UN!  I imagined myself smoothing over diplomatic spats, soothing angry ministers and maybe even preventing wars …  But no, this dream was also doomed to failure.  As a half Swede/half British person neither government could trust me enough to employ me in their diplomatic service.  After all, if there was a war between the two countries, how could they have been sure where my true allegiance lay?  I could see their point, but it was still frustrating.

So my dreams turned towards love, marriage and children, and finally, something worked out!  And then, just when I thought that was it and I’d realised my dreams, I discovered writing …  It took another 20 years of dreaming before I became published, but who’s counting?  Dreams do come true occasionally, you just have to have the right ones 🙂

For a chance to win a copy of The Silent Touch of Shadows, please leave a comment and tell me what you wanted to be when you grew up!?




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20 responses to “What did Christina Courtenay dream of being when she grew up?

  1. Angela Keeler

    I dreamt of being a nurse – thanks to Twinkle magazine and then an astronaut (wanted to be the first woman to walk in space – despite a fear of heights). Then I found Enid Blyton and a whole world of possibilities opened up before me. I had the writing bug.


  2. What a lovely Sunday morning read. Thank you 🙂 x


  3. Angela – I loved Enid Blyton too, but I was happy just to read them. Still have the entire Famous Five collection (but in Swedish 🙂 )
    Laura – thank you!


    • Lorraine H

      I love history, and I wanted to be an archeologist, sadly wasn’t clever enough. Then of course I wanted to become a nun. Yes I can see raised eye brows! I have to come clean here! I had been watching the sound of music, it seemed so glamourous. Then I thought could I handle seven children, the answer is no. It is haed to decide when young, but ended being a nursing auxiliary and a lab assistant. Still in the lab after twentyfive years. AAAGGGHHH!
      Lorraine x


  4. Jan Brigden

    Lovely interview, Christina! Like you, my dreams chopped and changed a bit. I remember wanting to be an actress from quite a young age – my sisters and I used to put on shows and pantomimes for Mum and Dad. We’d also mime to Abba songs using our hairbrushes as microphones. I then decided I wanted to be a policewoman which was quite shortlived as I realised I’d be too much of a softie and probably be letting people off every five minutes. I’d always written as a child, at school, and made up stories and poems for friends, etc. I’m an avid reader like yourself, and did do a creative writing course many moons ago but wasn’t able to indulge my passion for writing properly until about four years ago when I started drafting out my first novel.

    It’s so good to learn about your dreams and how you started writing and what you’ve achieved. I’ve actually read The Silent Touch of Shadows and absolutely loved it but wanted to leave a comment anyway. You’re an inspiration! xx


    • Thank you, Jan! I like your dreams too – it’s funny how we go through phases in life and then finally arrive where we want to be. Not always a straight path! And I remember singing into a hairbrush, didn’t want to be a singer (I was too shy), but it was fun to pretend 🙂


  5. Yeah the Famous Five were my inspiration too! I wanted a boat of my own with a tin opened and a bar of chocolate…oh yes and an island too !! Lovely post xxx


  6. And me! But I got a girl dog and called her Tammie! 🙂 x


  7. After seeing The Nun’s Story, I dreamed of being a nun, but a nun who looked like Audrey Hepburn. Naturally, there was a Peter Finch – sorry, Dr. Fortunati – in my dream. Amazingly, he was there in a very un-nunlike capacity!

    Liz X


  8. Catherine Miller

    I was obsessed with The Bill when I was younger so for a portion of time I wanted to be a police officer. This idea faded when I realised I’d have to run quite a lot.

    I already have Christina’s wonderful book so no need to put me in the pot, as such 😉


  9. It’s wonderful, isn’t it, when dreams come true? Even if we get there by a long-winded, roundabout route. I could totally sympathise with that 😉


  10. How funny, I dreamed of becoming an archaeologist. I chose archaeology as the subject of my first ever school project. I won the prize. It’s the only academic prize I have ever won!
    But, like you, I didn’t have just one dream. I also wanted to follow in my dads footsteps. At infant school, we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, I think I caused the teacher some consternation when I put up my hand and declared ‘commercial artist!’ . She was expecting answers like ballet dancer or train driver. I eventually achieved that ambition and worked as an illustrator in advertising, but dreams never show you the downside, do they? The jobs that came in at 4.30 p.m. wanted by 9 a.m. the next morning!
    I’d always written but it was the one dream I knew was unattainable. Writers were clever, educated people who’d been to university. It was only when I was at home with my young son and wanted to find a job which would allow me to stay there, that the idea of writing for publication resurfaced. And I did it! gx


  11. Gilli – sounds like you achieved two of your dreams then, that’s brilliant!


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