I live in an enclosed world, I have my routines much like Bagend, yet recently I have been yearning for an adventure. Opportunities when they knock are so worth trying for. So a few weeks back I was asked by a wonderful friend to give a talk on the importance of reading and maybe sell some copies of my book too at Hodgson Academy. I said no, of course. Then the wise tutor, much like Gandalf to Bilbo, explained the importance of adventure. And to grow up. So I said yes. I don’t get much chance to converse with children the age my books are pitched. And even though my shyness tends to get in the way of what I like to achieve, I had grand hopes that maybe I could infuse the children in some knowledge in reading, and maybe how I see reading as part of the arts, and relates to all entertainment. Just ideas.
Power point at the ready, nerves at maximum and possibly about to pass out, and with the very kind words of the tutor who organised the event (I was treated amazingly), I took the first talk. And survived. Yes I spoke too fast, mumbled in places, but the talk came through. But what surprised me, all the way through the talks, is how clever these children were. I didn’t feel I needed to sugar coat it, In fact some of the students who showed me their work, and I was rather in awe of. Year 7 and 8 writing short stories that are comparable to published authors. I could see every one of those children becoming what they aspire to be. Because they have a sound understanding brought on by excellent tutoring.
I set an exercise through the talks on what could possibly happen next in the story. It has reshaped the story already. Some of the ideas I will be using in book 2, others have shaped an idea I had for the story 3 books down. A more morally important lesson I felt I needed to show. I will be of course crediting all who shaped the story, and all who inspired me more. I think the children taught me much more than I them. I hope I imbued them with knowledge. But I suspect what I taught them that day they would already have known from the Academy.
So lesson of the day. When writing a book. Get out there. Because books don’t sell or advertise themselves. I sold all my books in stock, and ordered much more. The English department has requested copies. And I am rather overwhelmed.
It’s taken days to process.
Thank you so much to the tutors, to the pupils, to the technicians, and to Nikki Atherton.
I would like to show some of the student’s ideas, but I feel that could be embarrassing online. I will credit in the books all who I use of course. But here online, I’ll just type one. One that made me decide on a big change to later books. I’m sure if the children of Hodgson read this the ones who wrote it will know who they were.
“His mommy and daddy got back together.”