Tuesday, 6 June 2017

School Visit - A Classroom full of Y8s

Since publishing my book in September I have wanted to get involved with school visits to chat to the kids about writing a book, let them know what the process is and maybe encourage some that otherwise wouldn't have a go. Having self-published means I can give them a different view to that of a traditionally published author.

A few weeks ago a work colleague bought a copy of my book for her son, who took it in to his school librarian who, in turn, asked if I would be interested in doing a visit.

Would I? Absolutely.

As we were discussing dates and format I had a nasty fall and made a real mess of my face and so agreed on a date 4 weeks ahead to give time for the awful bruising to go down. D-day was to be Thursday 25th May at 8.50am, first class of the day.

I spent a lot of time planning my talk, including times for involvement with the kids, getting their thoughts, opinions, and even asking them to name a character in the book I'm currently working on so I no longer need to refer to him as 'cave-boy' and hoping that they came up with names I liked.

I arrived nice and early on the day and even the traffic hold ups hadn't been a worry, and so by 8.50 I was already to go. 60 young, keen faces all looking towards me. 

I had my notes and crib cards handy, but only needed to refer to them a couple of times and I had lots of interaction from the kids when I asked for suggestions. We had 4 names to choose from for my cave-boy character and I let them vote for their favourite, so now I have my name. 

As I felt I had covered everything I had planned to say I checked my watch and found I was 10 minutes from the end of the session, just time for a very active Question & Answer session.

Yes, there were a couple of unruly groups that the teachers quickly controlled, yes, there were times when I had to wait for them all to settle down, nothing more than to be expected with a room full of 12 year olds, but I absolutely loved doing it.

And, even better, the school has asked me to go back in the Autumn term to do another talk to more students.

Yes please.

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