Sunday, 5 October 2014

Felix Dashwood and the Pink Pig Onesie

Over the summer holidays I was busy preparing for the publication of my new books, Felix Dashwood and the Traitor's Treasure and Felix Dashwood and the Mutating Mansion.
This involved a variety of things, including me dressing up in a pink pig onesie...
... which made me incredibly hot! Luckily I had 'Benedict Cumberbatch' on hand to fan me, along with Leo the cat and Kieran the cameraman...
We also created trailers for the books. Below is a video of my friend, Jessica (and Leo again) recording some sounds for the trailers. Can you guess how these sounds fit in with the books?

(Jessica is a multi-talented person - she's also the illustrator of my books and drew the covers!)

If you want to watch the trailers or find out why I was dressed in a pink pig onesie, you'll just have to come along to one of my school presentations!

The first two Felix Dashwood books were published on 8th September. Since then I've been having great fun bringing the books to life. I love going slightly bonkers and getting children fully involved in acting out the books. Click here to read what the children of Elton Primary School had to say about my recent visit!

Photos from my recent visit to Bersted Green School
Look out for book 3, Felix Dashwood and the Traitor's Revenge, being published in January 2015! Here's a sneak peak of the cover!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Danger... and Jedward

An action-packed moment from my book, Doorway To Danger, with help from children at Oasis Academy Nunsthorpe:

But mainly, I just make children dance to Jedward for a living...

Monday, 16 June 2014

Ashford Hill

I recently had the absolute pleasure of returning to my old primary school, Ashford Hill. I went there when I was in year 1, 2 and 3 and haven't been back for about 18 years!
Aged 6 in my Ashford Hill uniform

As soon as I entered the building, I remembered the exact layout and memories came flooding back about my time there: playing the 'Mr Blobby' game with Robert, getting married to Adella on the playground, accidentally tripping Emma up, making her fall into a puddle wearing her ballet outfit (sorry Emma!). I met the secretary, Mrs Lawrence and the teacher, Mrs Yockney, who both worked at Ashford Hill when I went there, and still work there now! Mrs Yockney told me all about what my fellow classmates are now up to.

What made the day truly special, though, was meeting Mrs Curry, who taught me in year 3. She retired from teaching a while ago, but came back especially to watch my performance. At the end, she presented me with a 'merit' certificate for hard work. I received a few of these when I was 6 and 7 years old, but it was a real honour to be given one now I am 25!

This was a day I will never forget, and I am pleased to share it with you in the photos below. There are photos of me performing during my recent visit, and from my time at Ashford Hill 18 years ago. (Click on the photos to make them bigger...)

Can you spot me? Clue: look for the grumpy one...

More of a challenge here. Where I am? (Yep, the grumpy one again!)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Staffordshire, Stables, Cambridgeshire and Curling!

In recent weeks, we've had two of the most enjoyable tours in all my 6 years of visiting school - to Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire.

In Cambridgeshire we had the pleasure of visiting The Round House Academy, Pendragon School and Mayfield School. On the way up to Stafforshire we stopped off for a brilliant visit to St Cuthbert Mayne School in Hemel Hempsted. Then in Staffordshire it was The John Bamford School, St Michael's School, Florendine School, and West Hill School. Thank you to all the children and staff for making Mike and me feel so welcome and leaving us with very special memories.

I've loved the Winter Olympics! Here's the GB women's
curling team inside the Olympic rings!
The GB women's curling team
win their bronze medal!

To make things even better, in Staffordshire we got to stay in a beautiful converted stable on a working farm - a far cry from our usual Premier Inn room! And to cap it all off the Winter Olympics has been on. Curling is my favourite sport, but it's hardly ever on TV. I thoroughly enjoyed getting up at 5am to watch the Great Britain women and men curl their way to getting a bronze and silver medal respectively!

A particular highlight in Cambridge was at Mayfield School. The school has a hearing impaired unit, and throughout my presentation, I had a teacher 'on stage' with me translating what I was saying into sign language for the children who couldn't hear me. Because I was so busy performing, I didn't get to watch much of the signing, but it was fascinating to see this happening, especially because I tend to talk really fast and use some very strange words!

The photos around this blogpost are from my visit to Round House - the last one in particular shows just how fun my visits are, for me as much as for the children!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

A flood of school visits...

... well, only 2 schools, but I had to battle through floods to get to them. It was certainly worth it though!

Click on the photos to make them
bigger and view them as a slideshow!
First up was the large but very friendly Cippenham Primary School in Slough. After two really fun presentations here on Monday, I returned on Tuesday for a book signing. I was setting myself up for this at 9am when the fire alarm went and everyone evacuated to the playground. It turned out there was an electrical fault that meant the electricity and heating were off for the rest of the day. But this didn't stop us! I started signing books at 9.30am, when we were let back into the building, and kept going until the last book was signing at 3.30pm! It was quite overwhelming, and a big thank you to Tracy Briggs for organising everything so smoothly.

After recovering from this mega book signing, the next day I visited Hounslow Town Primary School to perform to all of KS2. They were a lively and fun audience and it was lovely to meet some of them the following day during the book signing.

I will leave you with a report about my visit to Cippenham Primary, written by Deen and Khadijah, along with some photos from the visit. (Click on the photos to make them bigger and view them as a slideshow!)

"We really enjoyed our visit today by Luke Temple!
At the beginning, Luke was nowhere to be seen! Suddenly he burst out of the cupboard with a magnifying glass, searching around the hall for his ideas. He began to tell us about himself and about one of his books, ‘Ghost Post’. He explained how he got the ideas for his books and also that all of his books are about spooky adventures (because his birthday is on Halloween!).

Next he chose actors from year 3 and year 5 to act out scenes from ‘Ghost Post’. We loved watching our friends acting and enjoyed hearing about the character of ‘Spooky Steve’. We then got to see a short clip of the book – it looks really scary!

After that he told us about another book called ‘Doorway to Danger’, this also contains the same character from the first book, she is a brave girl called Becky. We found this one even scarier because of the spectre! One of our favourite parts of the morning was when Luke asked us spooky jokes, if we got the punchline wrong we had to go up to the front – we got to see some of our friends dance to Jedward! Even the teachers were laughing a lot!

We would like to say a huge thank you to Luke for his visit and can’t wait to read his stories!"

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Luke Temple: style icon + a very special book made of cake

Me and my mini-me!
What a way to kick off the Spring term! This week Mike and I were back in Ashford, Kent, where we visited Ashford Oaks School. Before my presentation even began I was in for a surprise. I was introduced to Joshua, a year 3 boy who has just had his hair cut 'in the style of Luke Temple'. That's right, he'd been inspired... by my hair. How wonderful is that?! (Unfortunately I have also just had my hair cut, but in a different style, which means that Joshua now looks more like me than I do!)

During the presentation, I asked Joshua to come up to the front to play my 'mini-me' and he did a great job. The presentation itself was a really good experience and everyone joined in to help me bring my books to life, making it a brilliantly fun afternoon. The next day we returned for a big book signing with lots of enthusiastic children. Thank you to Mr D'cruz for arranging a super visit - we hope we can come back soon!

After this we headed the short distance to The John Wallis Academy. We visited the school back in September 2013 and this week they invited us to help them open their newly improved library. As I walked past a classroom window on my way into the school, one of the children spotted me and started jumping up and down in excitement. I knew from that moment that it was going to be a special experience, but I wasn't prepared for the surprise that greeted me when I entered the building - my second surprise of the week!

Click on the image to make it bigger!
The restaurant at the school had been busy making a cake for the library opening, and it was a cake made to look like one of my books, Stormy Cliff! You can see it in the photos, complete with my signature. Isn't it amazing?! I thought I was only going to get to meet a few children when we opened the library, but to make it extra special the WHOLE SCHOOL had been invited to a 'library opening' celebration assembly. We really enjoyed this: the new year 6 librarians were introduced, I gave a short speech, the book-cake was cut and a song had been written especially for the library opening, which we all sang together. All that was left was to cut the ribbon, and we had officially opened the library at The John Wallis Academy Primary School.
The book-cake is cut for everyone to enjoy...

It is really great to see a school so focused on trying to develop a love of reading. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate The John Wallis Academy on their energy and enthusiasm. A big thank you for inviting me to what is undoubtedly the best library opening I have ever attended - I was honoured to be there.

... which I clearly did, as this rather
unflattering photo shows!
To all the children at John Wallis, I hope you enjoy using your new library. Remember, it isn't like any other room in your school. It's a magical, amazing portal that can take you anywhere you want to go. By reading the books in your library and using your imaginations, you can become the hero in any story and travel to worlds that you've never even dreamed of! I look forward to coming back in the future and seeing your library 'in action'!
But I swear I didn't eat all of this!

Great end to the Autumn term!

We ended the Autumn term in style with a two week tour to the midlands. We made many new friends and had some unforgettable experiences at St Mary's (Bicester), St Oswald's (Rugby), Goodyers End School (Coventry), Our Lady's School (Alcester), Bromsgrove School, Lutley School (Halesowen), Brook School (Stourbridge) and Dunstall Hill School and Woodthorne School (both in Wolverhampton).

I hope the hundreds of children who bought books or got them for Christmas have enjoyed reading them. Hopefully I'll be back to see you all soon with my brand new books!

Here is a link to an article about my visit to Bromsgrove:

Below are some photos from my lively and uber-fun visit to Goodyers End, with thanks to Mr Gillgan! (Click on one on the photos to go see them all in 'full screen' mode.)

And here are some new fans from Brook Primary happy about getting hold of their books: