Monday, 11 February 2013

4 Great Schools and a Grandma!

Most people I talk to don't really understand my job. They think of an author as someone who sits at a desk and writes all day. Although I spend some of my time doing that, most of my days are spent bringing my books to life with hundreds of children, using action-packed drama, silly dances and laugh-out-loud fun. It's the best fun you could ever have!

My Grandma was one such person who didn't really understand my job... until she came to watch one of my school presentations last week!

My lovely Grandma, Joyce

We started off with two great presentations at Carlton Junior and Infant School in Dewsbury and Pinders Primary School in Wakefield. We love meeting new fans and getting them excited about my books, and both schools provided enthusiastic audiences. My Grandma saw me perform at Pinders Primary and was amazed about what had happened to her shy grandson (that's me!)... She was also really impressed with the acting ability that the children showed, as was I! Thank you to Tim Scargill at Carlton and Thea Burgess at Pinders - we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and would love to come back when we're next 'up North'.

After dropping Grandma back home, we headed a short way down the M1 to Chesterfield to visit our good friends at Woodthorpe Primary and Inkersall Primary.

Inkersall once again provided an enthusiastic and lively audience - my favourite kind! The children seemed to go wild for my two new books, especially year 3 who didn't even know they would be part of my visit until a few minutes before. At Woodthorpe there is always a friendly atmosphere and I am made to feel very welcome by the staff. The children's are really polite and enthusiastic, and during the presentation they got themselves involved acting out dramatic roles to help me bring my books to life. In the workshops it was lovely to see how keen they were to get writing! 
Eager fans at Woodthorpe Primary!

The book signings at both school the following day were a great success and provided a perfect end to the week. On the left you can see a rare photo of Mike (my father and agent) handing out books to a long line of children from class 4 at Woodthorpe. Thank you to Eileen Gunton at Woodthorpe and Jo Oldcorn at Inkersall - we'll be back as soon as my next book is published!

More photos are coming soon from Woodthorpe - watch this space!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Can a door become a book cover? (+ 4 Fab Schools)

Last Sunday saw us travelling around the dreaded M25 for another great week of school visits. We stopped off in Hertforshire for a brilliant visit to St Ippolyts Primary School. We were made to feel so welcome here and loved our day in school. All the children from Reception to year 6 were full of enthusiasm and the book signing the next day proved incredibly popular. Thank you to Gayle Stewart for organising a very special visit. We hope we'll be able to come back soon!

We then set off on a lovely  drive to Durham. Although it is nearly 350 miles from our home in Sussex, we love staying in this city, so it was a real treat to be back. We met a whole new group of fans at Easington Lane Primary, where we had a great time getting all of KS2 involved in bringing my books to life. Thank you to Tammy Flynn for inviting us along! You can see some of the children from Easington Lane in the photo, happy to have received their books. 

Next was a return trip to two 'old' friends - Blackhall Colliery Primary School and St Anne's Primary School. Blackhall Colliery yet again provided a wonderful, enthusiastic audience as we introduced them to my two new books - thanks to Claire Baker and all the other staff involved - we look forward to returning when my next book is published!

At St Anne's we were in for a surprise - after our visit last year, they turned their classroom doors into giant versions of my book covers. Take a look at the photos. Wow! Aren't they just amazing?! Apparently the children will be updating their doors with my new book covers - I can't wait to see these and will post photos on this blog! The visit itself was fantastic and full of laughter - it's schools like this that make me want to keep writing books. The sooner I write another book, the sooner I can come back! Thank you to Angela Scott for a wonderful visit and I hope to see you all very soon!

Fun at St Ippolyts

Fun at St Ippolyts
Fun at St Ippolyts
Fun at St Ippolyts
A fantastic Captain Cutler at St Ippolyts!
A fantastic Captain Cutler and Albert at St Ippolyts!