Posted on March 6, 2010 - by MG
Last year, we launched ICE SHOCK on World Book Day, at St Gregory the Great School in Oxford. This year I set off to do a mini-tour of schools in the South of England.
World Book Day is the one thing guaranteed to get us lazy authors out of bed early. Even Robert Muchamore tweeted in (mock) anguish “School event in High Wycombe tomorrow. I’ve got to get up at 7am. The HORROR!”
Started off at D’Overbroecks College in Oxford, speaking to the sixth-form English Lit and Communication& Culture students. After spending the afternoon tailoring my author presentation to their sophisticated 6th form ears, I accidentally ran the normal Powerpoint. Somehow we still ended up talking about Aristotle.
The next day, a launch party at Blackwell’s Oxford for my friend Tim Pears’s new novel, Landed, which has already had bags of terrific reviews.
For the last part of the week it was on to Canterbury and then Worcester to visit two more schools. Lots of fun at Simon Langton Grammar in Canterbury talking to hundreds of boys about Joshua Files. And a special privilege of spending time with the school’s writer’s group, including three young men who’ve written a 108,000 word dark fantasy novel. Very impressive INDEED.
At Christopher Whitehead Language College in Worcester I hung out over lunch with the student librarians and we talked about how to construct a story. Brilliant suggestions from the kids who created a thrilling storyline for a supernatural adventure about a girl who has to rescue her mother…from Hell!
A special thanks to the kids who patiently posed with me for the photographer from the Worcester Gazette!
And to the wonderful librarians Teresa (Simon Langton Grammar, Canterbury) and Liane and Clare (Christopher Whitehead, Worcester) for all their work to encourage and develop readers and for inviting me to your schools!
Finally, a big thanks to the lovely Punjabi students that I met on the train to Canterbury. I left my coat-belt on the train, after enjoying a nice chat with the boys. On the train back to London at the end of the day, the guys were there again. When they heard I’d lost my belt, one of them insisted on giving me his. Then spent the rest of the trip determinedly making a hole in the thick leather so that it would fit me. Thank goodness for the belt or I’d have frozen solid on the walk home!
Best question of the week: Is fiction getting too ‘fast’ and are we losing something valuable in the drive to make story openings vault us directly into action.