Thursday 27 July 2017

A Change Is Gonna Come Blog Tour: Irfan Master's Letter To His 16-Year-Old Self


I am scheduling this in advance because, when it goes up, I should be queueing for YALC. I am exceptionally excited about all sorts of things but one of the very MOST exciting of all is the chance to get my hands on a finished copy of the Stripes anthology A Change Is Gonna Come, which I'm reading via NetGalley at the moment and absolutely loving. 

I'm thrilled to be on the blog tour for it, especially as I have a great piece from one of my favourite of the authors involved, Irfan Master.

Over to you, Irfan.

Dear Irfan (aged 16 and a bit),

I found a list you made. 
I’m sending it back, with a few amendments.

I read the wrong write books.
(See what I did there? You get funnier in the future).

I’m not the hero in stories I read.
Read that again, without the crossed out word. Yeah, that.

I can’t write.
I won’t go into too much detail here, but boy, trust me, you got this.

Nobody Everybody will ever read the things I want to write about.
OK, maybe not everybody, but some. And they will write to you. That’ll make you cry.

I don’t believe in me so who else will.
Just that one word above. Hold onto that.

It would be so much easier harder to not want to write.
Harder. Much harder. Stories are part of you. Let them out.

Writing is for geeks, nerds, bookworms.
Nothing wrong with that statement and our time is coming.

What if I’m just lying to myself?
One day you’ll realise that everybody lies.
And that will be your opening line.

I don’t think I’ll be writing when until I’m forty in the ground.
Still writing. You’re just getting started.

I want to give up.
Never give up.

Never give in to despair.
Never give in to doubt.
Never, never give up.

With love, strength and resilience until the end of time.


Irfan Master was born in Leicester to an Indian father and Pakistani mother. His debut novel, A Beautiful Lie, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Branford Boase Award. He has worked as a librarian and a project manager at the National Literacy Trust, before becoming a full-time writer.

Check out the rest of the blog tour!


  1. Wonderful advice. I am sure all 16-year olds especially from our backgrounds should read.

  2. I love this letter. Letters to our teenage selves is something I adore reading but I always feel like others do it so much better than I could ever do myself. Though I might give it a go anyway.