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Kath and I have had one of the best starts to the New Year ever!

              Paul Bryn Davies

We kicked off the new term in Kent, working at three schools, Aylesford Primary (well-known to us), followed by visits to Brookfield and Ditton Juniors (new schools to us). All three visits proved a huge success. We chose to present the Mokee Joe series of books to them and the three big KS2 audiences couldn’t get enough of it. The staff and pupils were brilliant and gave us a fab time. The book signings were phenomenal! The problem with a six-book series is that you have to bring so many books and my car was just about overloaded for the long journey down from South Yorkshire. And we still managed to sell out of books!  A HUGE thank you to all.

    Paul’s famous book cover!

During our stay in Maidstone, we managed to link up with our brilliant cover artist, Paul Bryn Davies. Paul invited us to lunch and afterwards took us into his studio to show us some of his original paintings for books like ‘Poppy Warrior’, ‘Scabbajack’ and…‘IT’. Yes…Paul did the original book cover for Stephen King. Am I lucky having an artist like Paul working with me or what!!

From Kent it was back to our South Yorkshire base to visit Mary Swanwick Primary…a school that had played a big part in the inspiration for my latest book, ‘Poppy Warrior’. During a visit to the school some time ago, I had  been

intrigued by the old air-raid shelters in the school grounds. The Head at that time had told me that the school had been an administrative centre for officers and soldiers during World War 2 and that spooky smells of  pipe tobacco still lingered in the school corridors! She also told me that sounds of soldiers’ footsteps had sounded down the corridor outside her

Pete next to old air-raid shelters at    Mary Swanwick  Primary School

office when no one had been around!  All great material for a spooky story! You can imagine how excited Kath and I were to visit the school again with our new book! They loved the Poppy Warrior presentation and the pupils couldn’t get over the fact that their very own school had helped inspire the book. They were also keen to tell us that the school is still plagued by ‘ghostly goings on’. Brilliant!  Thank you Mr Faraday and all of the other staff and pupils for making our visit so special. We hope we made it special for you too!

Two more school visits quickly followed…Thurcroft Juniors in Rotherham and Brimington Juniors in Chesterfield. Both schools were enthused and entertained with my new Poppy Warrior book and to say that the two large KS2 audiences were captivated by the gripping World War 1 story would be an understatement. We just love seeing the willing actors and actresses playing the parts of Josh and Jess (the amazing identical twins in Year 6 featured in the gripping story). We had a real ‘Josh’ at Brimington Juniors…and he didn’t disappoint.  A BIG thank you to Ms Stone and Mr Newbury for having us visit. It’s great that our good relationship continues to build at your lovely schools!


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