SUPERB IN THE SOUTH EAST

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After a week of writing and re-charging, Kath and I were on the road again, this time heading for Huntingdon to take up my new post of Patron of Reading at St Peter’s School. We were to spend two very happy days there working with hundreds of pupils from Years 7 to 10.

Great library display at St Peter's

After the usual great time with Years 7 and 8, it was with a certain degree of hesitation that we agreed to present our books and our work to older pupils; around 200 Year 9’s followed by 200 Year 10’s…but we needn’t have worried. Both audiences were a delight to speak too and perfect ambassadors for this fabulous school. The lovely librarians, Mrs McMordie Jackson and Mrs Bond were more than impressed as to how well our sessions with the older pupils went.

During our visit we talked about lots of our books, but focussed on our new book, Kruschmeisterand the

Fantastic Four in St Peter's Library

prequel, Scabbajack. The book-signing subsequent to the presentation was a huge success with lots of fans, new and old, lined up around the library eager to get their hands on signed copies of our books. We also carried out a short workshop with Year 10 on ‘research techniques’ and with Year 7 on ‘characterisation’…both sessions received with great gusto by the pupils involved.

It was a shame to leave St Peter’s after having had such a great time, but at least we will be back twice during the academic year and we’ll be staying in contact for most of the time. In fact some of the older pupils have already been challenged to design a new look for the good guys in the Mokee Joe series in time for the release of the sixth book – Mokee Joe: Scourge of the Emirates (set in Dubai). We can’t wait to see what they come up with, and our amazing cover artist – Paul Bryn Davies – will put their ideas into a new poster to go with the book. How’s that for an incentive!

Thanks to all at St Peter’s for a brilliant time. I’m so proud to be attached to your great school. Best wishes from me and Kath and a BIG ‘thank you’ to some of you for your complementary notes – they are saved in my office as proof that even older pupils are happy to hear me ‘spouting’ on about my life and my books!

Staying at the fab Decoy Barn in Fritton, Norfolk

We headed away from Huntingdon down into deepest rural Suffolk ready to spend a day at Northfield St Nicholas Primary – another school where I am Patron of Reading and a school that already knows my books intimately. I was very happy to do workshops throughout the day with all of KS2 and what a great day we had! Again…great enthusiasm and more than a warm welcome from staff and pupils  – now all old friends, especially Mrs Gulliver – the librarian who always looks after us so well. Thank you, Julie. You really spoil us!

At the end of the Summer term we received an invitation to a ‘Horror Fest’ at Lowestoft Library and we have accepted. It’s on Nov 5th (easy to remember) and I will be there doing all sorts of things, including dressing up as Mokee Joe and giving away free scary posters to anyone who turns up from Northfield St Nicholas – I think I’d better takes lots of posters! Finally, a special ‘thank you’ to our hosts at the ‘hidden gem’ the Decoy Barn accommodation in Fritton. What an amazing place! We will be back!

See you all soon…don’t have nightmares!

PJM

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