Thursday, 24 January 2013

A blizzard of brilliant schools (and snow!)

Hasn't the snow over the last week or so been amazing? My dog certainly thinks so (see photo below!).
My 'cute' dog in the snow

In between snow storms, we somehow found our way to 3 fantastic schools. First up were our good friends, Colin Gayle and Kingsham Primary School. Colin has supported my visits since my first book, Stormy Cliff, was published in 2008 and we always find enthusiastic audiences there. This time was no exception and they all got involved in bringing my Ghost books to life. It was great to be back at Kingsham, and lovely to chat with children as excited about my books as I am!

The pupils at Downsbrook Middle School became keen fans last year when we introduced Stormy Cliff and The Secret Theatre to them. This year's presentation, with nearly 400 year 4-6s, was full of energy and laugh-out-loud fun... the bigger the audience the more fun I seem to have. It's safe to say that the children left just as excited about my new books... At the book signing a few days later, I found myself signing a massive number of books for our eagerly awaiting fans. Thank you to Kayleigh Nicholson for organising not only a great visit, but the book signing too, which had the efficiency of a military operation! 
Grandpa with ... me!

Our final visit before the snow trapped us at home was to Churchill Primary School, in Westerham - a new school for us, but boy did we have a good time. I used to visit Westerham a lot when my grandpa lived there (see the photo on the right!) so it was good to be back. The children and staff were really welcoming and we loved spending the day with them. At the end of the day the year 6 class at Churchill (and their teacher!) decided it had been the best author visit they had ever had. As I told them, it was also one of my all time favourite visits! Thank you to Alice Early and all the other staff who helped during the visit. 

To all 3 schools, another big thank you. We can't wait to come back when my next book, The Ghost Lord Returns, is published!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Great authors aren't all old people!

When I visit schools I often get the audience to guess how old they think most authors are... 50, 60, 70 and even 100 are all common answers.

Over Christmas I received some great stories from year 5 children, which prove that authors can be any age. My new book, The Ghost Lord Returns, won't be coming out until next year, but Class 5KD from Whitehill Junior School decided they would imagine what might happen in it. They ran a competition to see who could write the best version of The Ghost Lord Returns. I was lucky enough to be asked to read the winning 2 stories and 2 runner up stories. 

Lots of excited writers at Whitehill Junior!
All the stories were really exciting and full of fantastic ideas and descriptions. Isn't it interesting in all in all 4,  the ghost of Lord Thistlewick himself was the evil character, trying to take back his island. But will he be the baddie in my version of The Ghost Lord Returns? You'll just have to wait to find out!

Congratulations to Amy, Zayn, William and Bethany (the winners and runners up) and thank you to Miss Dempster for sharing the stories with me. I can't wait to come back to Whitehill Junior when The Ghost Lord Returns is published!

Hope you're all enjoying the snow!


Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Adventure Begins...

Hello everyone - Luke here... Welcome to my new blog!

On here I'll be telling you all about what goes on in my school visits around the UK. Those of you who have seen one of my visits will know that they're full of action-packed drama, audience participation and laugh-out-loud fun. I love visiting schools and I can't wait to share my experiences and photos on this blog. 

There'll be some fun stories to tell, so keep checking back here and join me on my author adventure!