On the road again

My autumn tour of talks, readings and workshops is gathering pace. This week I returned to what is now officially my favourite school in the country – Scissett Middle School, near Huddersfield – to give a talk to around 60 students from Year 8. It was my fourth visit there and I’m arranging another in December to run some writing workshops.

As regular readers of my blog will know, the heroine and another key character in my current novel-in-progress are named after two students from the school who came up with the best answers (according to me) to the question: “If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?”

Me, at Scissett Middle School

Me, at Scissett Middle School

Every time I’ve visited Scissett, the staff have been unfailingly efficient and welcoming and the students have impressed me with their engagement, attentiveness and intelligence. This week’s session was no exception.

I was particularly pleased to have time for a chat beforehand with Gabriel, a keen reader and a big Darren Shan fan, and Jake – who worked so hard to help set out all the chairs in the library.

And, as always at Scissett, the Q&A at the end of my talk threw up plenty of bright and interesting questions – especially the last one, from Charlotte, who asked whether Rob (Alex’s psychic-evacuee friend in Flip) would have gone back to his old life, if he could. I’ve been asked hundreds of questions about Flip in schools up and down the UK but I’d never heard that one before. It was such a refreshing surprise to be made to think about an aspect of a novel that I thought I knew inside-out (but clearly didn’t!)

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