Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas is Coming

Yes... there's no avoiding it... Christmas is definitely getting closer. The shops are full of decorations, Christmas gifts, Christmas songs and lots of ho-ho-ho... and it's still November. Last week Vicky, Connor and I went to see the Coca Cola truck in the Asda car park - and very Christmassy it was too.
On Saturday night Vicky and I went into Chester to have a look round the Christmas Market... Mulled Wine, Roast Chestnuts, A big Wheel... Lovely. There was even an ice rink but I didn't have my skates with me...

Last night I went with Deanna to an open evening at Preston College so we could have a look at their Drama and Performing Arts department. Deanna is very keen on stage management, sound and lighting, but it's not easy finding a course for that. Thankfully, the people at Preston college were very helpful and we came away feeling quite positive about it all. We're still not sure which college or sixth form Deanna will go to next year but at least there are a few options open for her. A very exciting time...
Between now and Christmas I have one school visit - more about that later. In the meantime I'm busy writing, writing, writing. And not just my Christmas list either...

Monday, 8 November 2010

Living Books

On Saturday I spend the day as a Living Book at Fleetwood library in Lancashire. Over the last few years I have visited loads of libraries in England, Wales and Scotland and have talked to thousands of people - sharing stories and talking about books and writing... but being a living book was a little different.

Instead of talking to a large group of people, I spoke to just one or two people at a time - so the sessions were very personal. I was a little unsure about how the sessions would go but I needn't have worried... they were great and I had a really good time.

There were a few Living Books available in the Library on Saturday... the idea being that each Living Book (or person) was someone that had an interesting or unusual job, hobby, knowledge or personal experience that they could share with others. Members of the public then came along and made a reservation so they could spend a little time with the book of their choice. I was kept busy throughout the course of the day and spent time with people of all ages... including keen young readers that were interested in books and reading, older people that were interested on writing books for children and even a primary school teacher that had called into the library to return one of my books that she had been reading to her class.

It was an absolute pleasure meeting everyone at the library - thank you all for coming along... thank you too to the wonderful librarians.... especially Ruth and Ian for looking after me.

Living Books (or The Human Library) is a national initiative and you can find out more about it here.

Monday, 1 November 2010

On the Radio and Captain Kidd

Just had an exciting start to the day by chatting on BBC Radio Lancashire about the importance of libraries. I hope I managed to say something that made sense and that I didn't just waffle on. It's always the case that you think of other things to say when it's too late though...

Last week a little box arrived from one of my lovely publishers containing copies of my latest little book, Captain Kidd: Pirate Hunter. This is quite a short story - only about 400 words. You can take a look inside the book if you visit amazon by clicking here