School Visits

Hundreds of years ago, being an author meant you sat in a stuffy little room called a garret with an ink pot and paper and a mug of ale or something, and you wrote. You wrote your books, and then after a few years you died of smallpox or something and you didn’t get famous and read by millions of people until hundreds of years afterwards.

Nowadays, being an author means that every once in a while you leave your stuffy little writing room – with its laptop and comfy chair and wireless internet – and you venture out to strange places you’ve never been to before, like Staffordshire and Essex and Leamington Spa.

And then, you visit the schools there, and you get to talk to children.

Getting to talk to children is one of the best things about being an author. Sometimes I wish I talked for children instead of writing for them. But then I’d have to be a teacher I suppose, and then I’d have to talk to them about boring things like Catherine of Aragon (surely the most boring of all Henry VIII’s wives) and the square root of the hypotenuse (and that’s only boring to me because I have no idea what it is).

Anyway. Authors today are very lucky, because unlike authors living hundreds of years ago we:

A) Usually don’t die of smallpox (fingers crossed)

And,

B) We get to visit schools and tell children all about our books.

And if we’re REALLY, REALLY lucky,

C) We get to meet incredibly talented young authors, readers (yes, being a reader is a talent), illustrators, comedians, and so on. And sometimes they send us work about our books.

And that’s exactly what Elliot, Isobel, Jude, Jamie (and one anonymous child who didn’t write their name on the form) did.

Thank you, all of you!