Friday, 16 January 2015

Fun and lots of photos from my visit to Bressingham Primary School

I've just come back from a brilliant week in Norfolk and Essex, visiting 5 lovely schools I count as 'old friends': Old Catton, White Woman Lane, Wicklewood, Bressingham, and Henham and Ugley. A huge thank you to all the staff and children for making our visits so special and fun.

The following is taken from Bressingham's blog, with lots of photos (

Luke told us about his new books which are about a girl called Felix Dashwood who lives on Thistlewick island with her friends Caspar and Drift. 

The first book is called 'The Traitor's Treasure'.

This is the stupid dance that Thistlewickians do...

We hear about the story which involves a note about treasure:

A teacher, Mr Foxworth, is trying to find the treasure (but the children need to stop him).

The children steal Mr Foxworth's hat!

Afterwards they escaped from school to the island to look for the treasure and retrieve it from Captain Traiton. Luke explained how the story evolved and with the help of his editor he rewrote the book to make half of it about Captain Traiton. This made it more interesting and exciting.

Luke read from chapter 12 which described the Captain and the curse over the treasure. It was a bit bloodthirsty!

The children asked Luke questions:

Why did you become an author? I had to get the ideas out of my head before it exploded.

How old are you? I started writing when I was 18, 8 years ago.

How did you come up with your illustrations? My illustrator, Jessica, drew the pictures after reading the book. You might think the characters look different when you've read the book yourself.

Who's your favourite author? Philip Pullman

What is your favourite film? Once

What was the first book you wrote? Stormy Cliff

What is your favourite book you've written? Traitor's Revenge

What was your favourite subject at school? Maths! I didn't like reading or writing at school and I wasn't very good at spelling. I couldn't draw very well either. 

What is your favourite onesie? My pig onesie!

What is your favourite sport? Curling

Have you got any pets? A dog called Rusty. I used to gave a bald hamster too!
In the second half Luke told us about parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy. 

We had new actors to take the parts this time!

The second book, 'Felix Dashwood and the Mutating Mansion' is set in Murkhill Mansion. It is based on a recurring nightmare that Luke had about a mask.

The children go to the mansion and find a diary by Amelie Summercroft.

The children read the diary... and the rooms in the mansion started to mutate...

The children found a huge Snakes and Ladders board which Amelie had described in her diary.

The children played the game and the board came alive - Drift disappeared inside a snake.

What was going to happen next?

Luke showed us how Jessica drew illustrations for his books using a tablet.

The third book is called 'Felix Dashwood and the Traitor's Revenge' and Luke read an extract from it. Felix met a witch and got trapped by white mist on a ghost ship.

He gave children the opportunity to ask more questions...

Favourite football team: Manchester United.

Are you married? No.

Favourite colour? Green.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Getting the ideas out quickly enough.

Why are all your books about ghosts? My birthday is on Halloween!