This post was written by peterjmurray on March 19th, 2017 11:39 am Comments Off on LAND OF THE CROOKED SPIRE

Pete surrounded by fab Year 6's at Mary Swanwick

After a few days in glorious Gosforth up in the NE, we returned South to Chesterfield to visit a favourite school of ours, Brimington Juniors. The Year 6’s from nearby Mary Swanwick School (another favourite school of ours) came over and joined in the presentation – KRUSCHMEISTER and BONEBREAKER. It was the first time I’ve presented these two books together and it went really well. After all, the villains in both stories are true ‘bonebreakers’ in every sense!

The audience were brilliant and got into my storytelling in a BIG way…borne out by the never-ending book signing the next

day! During the proceedings I was introduced to a devoted fan, Alfie. Not only did Alfie know intimately all of my books,

Chesterfield's famous crooked spire.

but he had some great ideas of his own. I wonder if one day he’ll become a horror-writer like me! Best of luck, Alfie.

It was nice to pop in to Chesterfield to do a spot of shopping and take in the view of the famous crooked spire…it never ceases to amaze me! There must be a good spooky story somewhere involving that strange old steeple.

Time to head further south back to our Berkshire base for some R and R. It’s been a hectic, but amazing last few weeks centred around World Book Week – long may it last!



This post was written by peterjmurray on March 7th, 2017 6:44 pm Comments Off on WORLD BOOK WEEK BONANZA

Alyx the Kruschmeister from Whytrig MS

Monday – St Peter’s in Huntingdon, Tuesday – Denbigh Primary in Luton, Wednesday – Beech Hill Primary in Luton, Thursday, World Book Day -Bolsover C of E in Bolsover near Chesterfield and Friday – St Joseph’s Primary in Chesterfield. PHEW! A ‘manic’ World Book Week, but seriously brilliant! One of our best weeks ever!

I’m proud to be Patron of Reading in St Peter’s high school, but when they asked me to work with Year 10’s I was very unsure

Great Kruschmeister posters from fans at Bolsover C of E

how it would go. But do you know what – the group of boys that turned up were nothing short of a-mazing! Some of the work they produced centred around a spooky pic I presented them with was mind-blowingly good! I hardly dare tell them, but I mentally stored some of their ideas for my own books!  The Year 7’s and 8’s and reading groups that also turned up during my day visit were equally fab to work with. Thank you to St Peter’s for welcoming Kath and I back again and to Rachel and Lisa (the lovely librarians) for looking after us so well. We can’t wait to be back in July with our new Mokee Joe book and poster, with images inspired by some of the Year 10 girls. See you soon.

Musa Ali - Kruschmeister from Beech Hill

Tuesday found us at Denbigh Primary School in Luton. It’s a great school to work in as the pupils really love our books. We did a big Mokee Joe presentation for around 150 Year 5’s and 6’s followed by some great workshops during which I passed on tips for writing spooky stories as well as answering load of questions. All in all a great day and a very fulfilling one. We returned the next day to do a big book-signing, but not before calling in at our old friends at nearby Beech Hill Primary to do a one-hour Mokee Joepresentation for a VERY enthusiastic Year 4 audience. It was lovely to see Gary Hawkins and Linda Carey again and to catch up on all the ‘goss’. We LOVE the Luton schools…can’t wait to be back!

NO TIME TO REST – World Book Day next – and what better place to spend it than with our friends at Bolsover C of E Juniors near Chesterfield. Ms Bailey was waiting to welcome us and a short while later we had the entire school and staff in front of us to launch into our Kruschmeister/Scabbajack presentation. All of the pupils turned up dressed as book characters and the atmosphere in the hall was ‘electric’ to say the least. The morning passed too quickly and before we knew it it was all over and Kath and I found ourselves in a lovely cosy café in a little cobbled courtyard in Bolsover, tucking into an ‘all-day’ breakfast! Fab-u-lous!  The next day we did a mega book signing which went on for most of the afternoon. What a World Book Day! Thanks x 1000 to all at Bolsover C of E.

Their sister school, St Joseph’s, is a smaller one-form entry primary, but the level of enthusiasm for our presentation and

BIG book signing at Gosforth Central

books was on the same scale for our last visit of the week on the Friday. It was a great way to round off an amazing World Book Week and we can’t wait to be back at St Jo’s to sign books on our return from the North East in a week’s time.


Over the week we received lots of e-mails from pupils and parents telling us of the many fans that dressed up as our book characters during World Book Week and that, of course, makes us VERY proud. Thank you to all of you for giving us so much encouragement and support to carry on producing our books.

Superb SCABBAJACK - Nathan from Gosforth Central

I thought I would finish off this blog entry on  real high by showing you below a lovely e-mail I just received from Birch Copse School, a school quite close to our Berkshire base in the South:

Message : Dear Mr Peter J Murray,
Hi my name is Tia Chapman. I come from Birch Copse School that you visited last term. I am writing to say that at our school everyone is enjoying your wonderful books! We are reading your books and some of us are even writing them for our best book for our review for a competition! All i wanted to say is that our school is really enjoying books

Thank you for taking your time to read my letter

Your sincerely
Tia Chapman (Student of Birch Copse) (Pupil of year 5) and the rest of Birch Copse

Thank you, Tia, for making my day. I’ll be back again as soon as I can and I can’t wait to read your book reviews (as long as their good ones!)



This post was written by peterjmurray on March 5th, 2017 5:37 pm Comments Off on WONDERFUL WHETLEY

Nice Mosaic at Whetley Academy

It’s that time of year again when Kath and I head off to Bradford to spend a week with a school that has a reading culture to be proud of – Whetley Academy. We stay in a beautiful place only ten minutes from inner-city Bradford; a lovely converted mill close to Howarth and the Howarth Moors. Unlike previous years, this time the weather was more kind to us and the ice and snow stayed away.

The focus this year was very much on our newest book, KRUSCHMEISTER. There’s even an acknowledgement in the book to the school for having supplied us with some useful information to incorporate in the story. Needless to say the book went down a storm, as did the countless workshops working with Years 5 and 6 over our three day stay. I always feel like a pop idol at this school, the pupils are so appreciative and not afraid to show it!

It was great to see yet more great artwork around the school, courtesy of the executive head’s talented sister. We

Fab artwork at Whetley Academy

particularly liked the iconic pics of pop stars around the media centre in the big hall.

A big thank you to all of the staff and pupils for making us so welcome (as usual) and hopefully we will be back again next year with our new Mokee Joe book and a stunning presentation to go with it.


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