I had a brilliant week of school visits at Clifton All Saints, Robert Bloomfield, St Ippolyts and Ramsey Manor. Thank you to all the staff and children for making me feel so welcome. I had lots of fun bringing my books to life with you all.
The year 2s at Ramsey Manor wrote me lovely letters and drew some wonderful pictures. Here are some of my favourites...
Drawings of me:
Drawings of the Blubber Monster and the Giant Squid (characters in my 'Albert' books):
After a summer of writing and other creative fun, I'm looking forward to visiting schools again soon. This term I'll be popping up at schools in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Sussex, Birmingham, Manchester and Cambridgeshire. See some of you very soon! As always, be prepared for lots of audience participation, action-packed drama and laugh-out-loud fun!
In August I was asked to make the music video for 'Better When We Talk', a lovely song written and performed by Sunbear, in collaboration with my good friends CatHatFiddle.
When I'm not busy visiting schools, my favourite thing to do is stay with my illustrator, Jessica, and our friends Kieran, Danny and Jo. They have a band called CatHatFiddle and we love making fun videos of their songs.
Here is our latest music video: it's CatHatFiddle's cover of Feeder's 'Shatter'. Watch the first video to see the full music video, then watch the second video to find out how we created the final 'spinning chair' shot. It's super cool seeing it from behind the scenes!
I'm sometimes asked if you have to go to College and University to be an author ... and if you need a degree to write a book (a degree is what you get when you finish University). The answer is no! It is possible for anyone to become a published author. It takes A LOT of practice and hard work, but you don't need a degree to write a book.
When I wrote my first book, Stormy Cliff, I didn't have a degree. In fact, I wrote all 10 of my books when I didn't have a degree. But now ... I do have a degree!
You see, I started University the year after I wrote Stormy Cliff, and I carried on doing it alongside my job as a full-time, school-visiting author. Usually getting a University degree takes 3 years, but because I was doing it as well as my job, it took me 8 years!
Now I have a degree, and today I received the certificate to prove it!
That's right, twenty four thousand books arrived today! Just in time to kick off my next book tour.
Over the summer I was busy working on the third book in my 'Ghost Island' series, The Ghost Lord Returns. Today I saw copies of the book, as well as new copies of Ghost Post and Doorway To Danger, for the first time. They look amazing and I can't wait to bring them to all the schools I'll be visiting this term.
These include schools in outer Manchester, Burton-on-Trent, Rugby, Norfolk, Telford and various schools around Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. See you all very soon!
I spent all of yesterday signing 561 books to send to Collège du Léman in Geneva, Switzerland...
I had an amazing visit to Collège du Léman a couple of weeks ago. I was in Switzerland for under 24 hours, but was made to feel so welcome by the PFA, school staff and children. I loved all 3 presentations with grades 1-5 - everyone joined in so well to bring my books to life. A big thank you to Saskia for organising the visit so well, for sorting out the book orders, and for taking me to see the lake and the mountains during the lunch break.
Lake Geneva Hotel
After a very easy EasyJet flight, I arrived at Lake Geneva Hotel in darkness. I had no idea of the amazing views I would wake up to the next morning, looking out over Lake Geneva... I didn't take the photos below, but they give some idea of this stunning location: