Sunday 27 October 2013

School Visit: Trafalgar Junior School

I'd like to say a huge thank you to the brilliant Richard Smith and everyone I met at Trafalgar Junior School on Thursday evening.  It was a very special occasion for me, because I visited the school back in 2005 – when my last book, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, was published.  I had no idea then that it would take so long to write Phoenix!

I'd particularly like to thank Ed and Jack for their introduction!  I really enjoyed meeting everyone, and hearing all your questions, and signing your books...  Most of all, the school guest book, where I saw that some of my own favourite authors had visited recently: David Almond, Sally Gardner, Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell...  I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy theirs!

It was also great to meet Isla Dawes of Kew Bookshop, who runs three brilliant bookshops in Kew, Barnes & Sheen, and did a fantastic job at the event; and Melanie Taylor of the wonderful Little Star Writing, who not only ran a creative writing workshop at the school earlier in the day, but also took all these pictures!  So many thanks to them, and to everyone I met for making it such a special evening!  The final word goes to Sam Allen of Year 4, who left me this amazing comment the next day:
Thank you for visiting our school yesterday evening - it was a very special treat to get a book signed by you on my birthday and it was great to say hi to you at the end. We started reading Varjak Paw straight away when we got home and can't wait to read all three! I hope you visit again before I leave the school. Sam Allen Year 4

Sunday 20 October 2013

School Visit: Prince Of Wales Primary

I just wanted to say big thank you to everyone I met at Prince Of Wales Primary last week for giving me such a great welcome!

It was brilliant to meet so many Varjak Paw fans, and to hear all your questions, both about Varjak Paw and Phoenix. If you have any more questions that we didn't have time for, this is the place to ask them... and if you wanted to see the Phoenix trailer again, here it is!

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Guardian Children's Books Podcast

Very exciting news – I'm on the Guardian Children's Books Podcast this week, talking about my new book Phoenix (and also about Varjak Paw!)   Click the link to have a listen; you can also download it & listen later if you like...

Sunday 13 October 2013

School Visits: Bury St Edmonds & London

It's been a busy week – I've visited four schools!  First up was Francis Holland School in London, where I talked to the Junior Girls, some of whom were already Varjak Paw fans!  There were lots of great questions, and lots of people interested in my new book Phoenix as well.  Among the audience was the book blogger moontrug, and she's made a fantastic post about it on her site – have a look at the link, it's really great!

Then I visited three schools in Bury St Edmonds, on a trip organised by the brilliant Philip Daws of Waterstones.  We started with Westley Middle School, where I talked to the Year 7s, and was interviewed by some Young Reporters (hopefully there'll be a link here soon, so you can see the interview!)  One of the Year 7s I met has just left me this wonderful comment here on my site:
You had an author visit at Westley in B.S.E and you were really interesting. You signed my copy of phoenix and i really enjoy it. me and my friend louis are having a competition to see who can finish it the first and im on chapter 8. I think im now going to read some more.
From Joey Turner
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a brilliant comment, Joey! Good luck with your competition, I hope you and your friend enjoy the rest of Phoenix... let me know what you both think when you get to the end!

The second school we visited was Hardwick Middle School, where I talked to the Year 7s again, and had some really great questions about writing and books.  Finally, we went to St. James Middle School, where I showed the Year 7s the Phoenix book trailer.  We had a few technical problems getting it to work, so for anyone who wants to see it again, here it is:

If anyone from any of those schools would like to leave a comment about the visit, or my books, or anything else, this is the place to do it!  It's always great to hear from readers – after all those years it takes me to write a book, there is nothing nicer than someone saying that they're enjoying it!

Thursday 3 October 2013

School Visit: Belmont Primary

I just want to say a big thanks to the awesome Year 5's I met at Belmont Primary this week for giving me such a brilliant welcome!

It was amazing for me to hear all your questions and thoughts about Varjak Paw and Phoenix, and to see all the great work you've been doing...  I know we didn't have quite enough time to answer everyone's questions, so if there's anything else that anyone would like to ask or say, this is the place to do it!