Well, I’ve done three school visits this week. The children listened attentively, mainly, as I read form The Lombardy Grotto to them. They asked lots of questions. They didn’t ask that question – the one all writers dread – “Where do you get your ideas from?” That may be because I pre-empted that and asked them what they thought the question was that most writers get asked and dread answering and then I asked them where they got their ideas from for their stories.
The strangest question was “Is your study a mess, because you work in Southampton and Salford?” I’d mentioned living in two places when one of them asked me what I was working on at the time – I work on Peace Child in Southampton and Potatoes in Spring when I’m in Salford. I do that so I can leave my bits and pieces on the appropriate desk.
I did tell them a lot about how The Lombardy Grotto came to me, almost packaged as a whole, when I visited the Cider Press Centre and Totnes, Devon. How when we got back from the Riverside Walk, it was so very quiet, and we wondered, what if everyone had gone away?
I asked the children in all three schools to tell me what Sparky looked like, how old they thought Jayne was, how old they thought Michael and Toby were, why Old Fuzzy Locks was called Old Fuzzy Locks and how they would describe chocolate to someone who had never tried it before. The responses were good.
Some children asked me for my autograph. I think I’m going to get some postcards made, which I can sign for them. They will show images of my books and have details of my web site, where they can buy signed copes, or link to Amazon.