This post was written by peterjmurray on March 21st, 2021 5:27 pm Comments Off on WORLD BOOK DAY LOCKDOWN!

Lots of Delta ‘Lockdown’ entries!

As some of you know, I’m lucky enough to be Patron of Reading for the Delta Academy Trust. I love working with the schools in the trust and already have lovely memories of my visits over the last few years. And so it was great to be asked by Fiona Marks – the trust’s Director of Primary Reading – if I could come up with an exciting challenge for the pupils on World Book Day.

Most of the Delta pupils know of my  series of books in which the hero, Hudson Brown, is constantly being chased and terrified by his horrendous enemy, Mokee Joe…

…So how about a lockdown situation in which Hudson can’t leave his house and must prepare himself for a Mokee Joe attack in the darkened hours at the end of World Book Day?

Well…the idea certainly provoked some wonderful ideas as many competition entrants fired up their imaginations and went into ‘Home

Watch out Hudson! I’m coming to get you!

Alone’ mode. Hudson wasn’t even able to have his two amazing friends, Molly and Ash, alongside (it was lockdown, remember), but he was allowed to keep in contact with them by phone.

It was so much fun for me to read through the competition entries, already judged by their respective schools and on a shortlist. In one boy’s story, he went so far to label Mokee Joe as  ‘THE GERMINATOR’ and Hudson defending himself with an antiseptic spray! Brilliant!

All of the entries on my shortlist were a joy to read, but I finally managed to come up with winners from each year group, and in some cases two entries tying for first place. The winners were:

KS1  Bobby from Macaulay Primary


Year 3 Layla from England Lane Primary and Chloe from Montagu Primary

Year 4 Sam from Willows Academy and a collective prize for the Year 4 bubble from Craven Primary

Year 5 Uswa from Southmere Primary

Year 6 Elijah from Serlby Park Academy and Archie from Hatfield Woodhouse.

WELL DONE TO ALL OF YOU…you each win a signed copy of the Mokee Joe book of your choice, from books 1 to 6.

And WELL DONE to the runners up…we will try to get a consolation Peter J Murray bookmark to you.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m really hoping to be back in your schools from next September. Kath and I have had our jabs…OUCH! (not really…we didn’t feel a thing!!)

Take good care and keep on reading and writing.



This post was written by peterjmurray on November 12th, 2020 5:17 pm Comments Off on DOUBLE LIFT OFF!

With all the  downbeat happenings re the pandemic and such, I’ve just had two great uplifting events and I want to tell you about them.

  1. A wonderful batch of letters (30 in total) were sent to me from a school in Staffordshire. The school in question is St Benedict Biscop School and the letters were from the Year 5’s. They had just finished reading my first ever book – Mokee  Joe is Coming! The letters were extremely neat and well-written and I enjoyed reading every single one of them. Receiving so many letters I would normally just scan them to get the overall gist of them, but in this case I couldn’t help but read every one in detail! Each of the Year

    A wonderful collection of letters!

    5’s gave me a rave review of the narrative, listing their favourite parts of the book and their favourite characters. They also had a mountain of questions for me and I’ve already written a compilation of answers and replied to them. A HUGE thank you to Ms Parkin the class teacher, and all of the Year 5’s for making me feel so uplifted and encouraged to carry on writing. You make it all worthwhile for authors like me – and like I said, I can’t thank you enough. The icing on the cake would be to visit your lovely school when things eventually return to normal. In the meantime, enjoy the second book (Mokee Joe Recharged) and I  hope to hear similar encouraging comments on this story.

  2. The second uplifting event is that I’m returning to teaching. I’ve just secured a post at a wonderful school to carry out some one-to-one English teaching and I can’t wait! Since the pandemic put paid to school visits I’ve really missed being in the school environment and the interaction with pupils and staff. I’m so looking forward to being back in school again,  and hopefully passing onto pupils my passion for literacy and my experiences of succeeding with the written word! In addition to all of this, I’m still writing new books and will be releasing new titles in the not-to-distant future so watch this space as they say. Things are looking much more optimistic at the moment, what with possible vaccines and increased readily available testing etc, so don’t be too downhearted and think positive. I’m sure it won’t be too long before Kath and I are back in your schools to thrill and encourage you with our latest spooky offerings. So stay safe and hope to see you soon.  PJM



This post was written by peterjmurray on October 3rd, 2020 12:44 pm Comments Off on COVID FRUSTRATIONS!

Well, at least the schools are back – even if we aren’t!

It’s so frustrating for me and Kath still being stuck around the house and not yet able to resume our much-loved school visits. We miss all our fans – pupils and teachers – more than you can imagine.

The only positive coming from these ‘strange’ times are that I’ve never been fitter! In between writing new books I’ve been running, cycling and keeping up with general stretching and fitness exercises almost every day. It will be a new leaner and fitter-looking Peter J Murray that returns to your schools when the situation finally allows! Mokee Joe will be chasing his victims with increased speed!

      Beware the Green Man!

On the writing front I’ve almost finished my first-ever Christmas-themed book (my first book in which the main character is a girl) and I’m about to start on my latest idea for an eco-themed book based on the pagan Green Man character – watch this space, as they say!

You may be interested to know  that I’m presently considering going back to a previous life and doing a bit of maths teaching; at least until this dreadful Covid situation is over. Before becoming an author 15 years ago, I was a maths teacher in a number of schools and thoroughly enjoyed it. It may surprise you to know that maths was my worst subject at school and so to finally become a maths teacher was almost as unexpected as becoming a best-selling children’s author! To teach maths again will at least help me  get back into schools sooner rather than later. Kath may even join me as a voluntary helper in the school library – something she would enjoy very much (surrounded by books!).

I’ll close for now and wish everyone well. A special ‘Hello and best wishes’ to all of the Delta Academy Trust schools of which I’m  Patron of Reading.  Keep on reading everyone and keep on writing – two activities guaranteed to help you through the current crisis.



This post was written by peterjmurray on July 9th, 2020 1:49 pm Comments Off on HOPING TO BE BACK IN SCHOOLS BEFORE TOO LONG!

Hope my fans are staying well and coping with all the strange happenings going on around us. As someone once said, ‘It could only happen in a book!’

During lockdown I’ve been working on my new book, exercising more than at any other time in my life, and generally trying to keep busy. I’m not very good at sitting around doing nothing and I’m sure there are many other people like me who are only happy when they are living life to the full.

   Lizzie’s MJ t-shirt from rear

Since the 4th July easing on lockdown restrictions, Kath and I have managed to get down south to link up with our son and his family. Most of you will already know that Simon is the author and creator of the famous Icky Doo Dah character ( and father of our lovely grandchildren, William and Lizzie. Both are fans of my spooky books, but 6yr old William is much happier discussing the books than actually daring to read them!  Lizzie, however, is in Year 5 and is much braver. She recently read my latest book, Poppy Warrior, in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Whilst we were staying with them, we ventured out and climbed the nearby Beacon Hill and Lizzie wore a Mokee Joe t-shirt. She looked great in it and I enclose here a pic showing Mokee Joe’s best side on the rear of her shirt.

Whilst we were on the top of Beacon Hill we managed to skirt round the ancient fort to find the Earl of Carnarvon’s grave. He was the one who worked with Howard Carter to find the treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, stored at the also nearby Highclere Castle (better known as the fictitious Downton Abbey).  Blimey…I’m a right mine of info today!

                      Creepy Grave!

I’m now back in my native Yorkshire and working on finishing my new book – nobody knows anything about it, not even Kath, my wife! All I will say is that it has a Christmas theme and the main character is a girl for once, and an amazing girl she is too! And that’s all I’m prepared to say on the subject for now! Watch this space, as they say!

Over the last few months I’ve received some lovely e-mails to my website from really keen fans of all ages. I had another e-mail from a fan in New York (Cesar), who informs me now has ALL of my books and even enclosed a pic of them all to prove it! I’ve also had a number of e-mails from ‘twenty-something’s’ telling me how they still remember the impact I had on them during my school visits when they were younger, even inspiring one fan to become a writer himself

Just to finish off this blog, I’m putting in a pic of me  returning from a 6.5K run in the pouring rain.  The rain had just about stopped when I set off, but restarted five minutes later and became a downpour for the rest of the run. When I got back I looked like a drowned rat. You can laugh if you want to because I can’t hear you!  You will note that even the owl gave me a very strange look!

              PJM ‘Drowned Rat’

I hope you’ll be pleased to know that many schools are getting in touch requesting visits or rescheduling of visits blocked by the virus restrictions. Of course we can hardly wait to get back into your schools, but at present nobody seems to know when visitors will be admitted. If not from September, from the Autumn half-term maybe??  Who knows?? As soon as the schools have definite guidelines, I’m sure we’ll be the first to find out.

Until then, stay safe and well and whatever you do…KEEP ON READING AND WRITING AND USING THAT AMAZING IMAGINATION OF YOURS!  Hope to see you soon.



This post was written by peterjmurray on April 29th, 2020 9:44 am Comments Off on AUTHOR IN LOCKDOWN!

If there’s one good thing about this lockdown period, it’s that it’s a good time for authors to write and a good time for readers to read! Hence, I’m enjoying writing this blog entry and I hope when I’ve finished, some of you will enjoy reading it.

         Keeping fit during lockdown.

Like most people out there, my wife, Kath, and I are ‘holed-up’ in our house, but we do escape twice a week to do our shopping and I’ve been going ‘crazy’ with keeping fit and making sure that every day I take some form of exercise – running, cycling and lots of stretching for example. Just prior to the lockdown we moved into a new house and so we’ve also been able to keep busy getting things sorted out and finishing off the unpacking etc.

It won’t surprise you know that I’ve been doing lots of writing. I’ve written two short stories for grown-ups and NOT scary stories for a change!  And I’ve also written a fishing story and sent it off to the Angler’s Mail – a magazine I’ve been reading for years.  As many of my fans know, fishing is one of my favourite pastimes. Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to fish at the moment, but as soon as things get back to normal I’ll be heading off to the bankside and raring to go.

…And I’ll hopefully be heading off to your schools as soon as possible to get back amongst our many fans. Kath and I have really missed you and can’t wait to entertain you again with our spooky stories. I hope lots of you have managed to take advantage of my free Kruschmeister download on my website homepage. It’s the least I can do to help keep you busy. It was also pleasing to be asked to launch a ‘Lockdown Challenge’ in the Delta Academy Trust Schools and I can’t wait to hear how pupils are getting on with it. Isn’t it great that so many people are willing to put themselves out to help in any way they can during the present crisis! They say that GOOD THINGS always show themselves when BAD THINGS happen around us and it’s so very true.

Here’s a good thing that just happened to me a few days ago and it really cheered me up! It was a totally unexpected e-mail from a student in the US. Here’s what they had to say:

I don’t know if you will read this yourself Mr. Murray, but I just wanted to say thank you. I am a 2nd year college student and your books have always been a favorite of mine. You visited my school when I was in elementary school and it was P.S. 154 in Harlem, New York and I had no idea how your books would affect me. Once I left elementary school, I no longer had access to your books which were in the library so I was upset. One thing I never did was forget how much impact you and your books had on me. I remember coming home with Mokee Joe 1, 2, & 3 and reading them and engulfing into the adventure of those books. I also read Moonwailer, Scabbajack, Dawn Demons, and Bonebreaker. I am rambling at this point, but your books made me love reading and I just wanted to thank you, I knew you came out with more books, but I never had the chance to purchase them. I am now a lot older and able to purchase them and will be doing so real soon. Thank you once again and can’t wait to read everything new.

Well how about that for an e-mail! Memories came flooding back of our times in New York. Great times and great students!

That’s all for now. I’ll be updating my blog again very soon so keep an eye on things. In the meantime, stay safe and stay busy. It won’t be long now before we’re all back together.



This post was written by peterjmurray on March 25th, 2020 6:21 pm Comments Off on HIGH ELBOWS IN BRADFORD!

Apologies for the delay in writing this blog, but as everyone knows things have been a little strange and surreal over the last week or so! I’m still not sure how we managed to finish our week visiting four wonderful Delta Academy Trust schools in and around Bradford.

Perfect base at Hewenden Mill

We chose to stay at the scenic Hewenden Mill, located at Cullingworth just five minutes from historic Howarth, once home to the Bronte family. We had the entire place to ourselves and it turned out to be a fabulous retreat at the end of a busy day.

Monday started more than well with our old friends at Whetley Academy. Years 3 and 4 enjoyed our Mokee Joe presentation in the first part of the morning, and upper KS2 took in our Poppy Warrior presentation during the hour before lunch. Both audiences were a pleasure to present to and many pupils were keen to learn about all of our books, especially in Years 5 and 6, many already familiar with a good selection of them.

After a great book signing the next day we were on our way to Southmere Academy, the threat of school closure due to the virus closing in on us. No matter! We ploughed on with our Poppy Warrior presentation to around half of the expected size audience (many parents chose to keep their children at home) and all passed extremely well. Somehow the week managed to keep on going and similar successful presentations were carried out at Lower Fields Primary Academy and Greengates Academy.

In actual fact, it was such a long time since we’d visited Greengates (about 15 years ago and at the start of my author

       Lots of great books to read at Greengates Academy

career) that we decided to present a Mokee Joe performance. The next day the school closed! PHEW! Just made it! It was interesting to see so many copies of our Mokee Joe books on the ‘buying shelf’ in the Greengates Foyer. The books had been previously purchased by the school to sell on to pupils at a huge discount. I’m guessing (and hoping) that the books quickly disappeared after my presentation in time for the enforced school holiday! (See pic).

During our ‘Bradford Week’ we met up with some good friends of ours from the Delta Schools – Ms Stansfield and Mrs Truelove

Lots of Poppy Warrior fans at Lower Fields

from Whetley, Ms Binns from Southmere, Ms Gavin  from Lower Fields and Mr Gaunt from Greengates.  A ‘HUGE’ thank you to each of them for ‘putting up’ with an author visit amid such strange goings on re the virus and it’s effects on the daily routine. Still…it was great to see so much positivity in the school community and I lost count of the ‘high elbows’ with so many of our fans in the wake of not being able to shake hands or ‘fist punch’ anymore!

Kath and I are at home now in self-isolation. I’ve got a new book to get on with…lots to do around our new house…and I’m working on making one of my books available for home tutoring (KRUSCHMEISTER) along with an activity pack to enjoy. So lots to do! Whatever happens, we will be thinking of you all and feel confident that you will rally round to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. See you all again soon…and that’s a promise!



This post was written by peterjmurray on March 16th, 2020 6:42 pm Comments Off on FOUR ‘LUVLY’ SCHOOLS!

A great week spent in four ‘luvly’ schools all quite close to our South Yorkshire home – Bawtry Mayflower Primary, Holme Hall Primary, Hopton Primary and Abbeywood School (only half a mile from our home!).

Our son and author, Simon Murray, had already visited Bawtry Mayflower Primary and could not say enough good things about it. So we took his advice and got in touch and arranged a visit. Simon was right! Such a lovely school and Kath and I had a fab time there working with all of KS2 on our Mokee Joe books.

It was on to Chesterfield next, for a first time visit to Holme Hall Primary School. The school is only small with around 90 pupils in KS2. However, quality beat quantity as they say, and the pupils revelled in the antics of Mokee Joe and proved a great audience. The next day was Sports Relief day and we signed loads of books in between all the exciting events that were going on…Brilliant! We heard that one boy got a PB during a running race by imagining that he was being chased by the seven-foot Mokee Joe monster. Great tactic!

Our next school was a little bit further afield, but we knew it would be well worth the journey. This was our second visit to Hopton Primary out Huddersfield way. The pupils were still excited about our previous ‘Mokee Joe’ visit, but this time we launched in with our new Poppy Warrior book. It was interesting to note the beautiful WW1 tribute displayed in the school entrance…very appropriate for our visit. The morning presentation went down really well and after a fab lunch in a nearby cosy West Yorkshire café, we returned to carry out an afternoon workshop with Years 5 and 6. We focussed the workshop on the new book and soon had everyone avidly writing about their very own WW1 experience. The pupils were brilliant and in the very short time available produced some stunning writing. Well done to all of them and a big ‘thank you’ to Mrs Johnson and all of the staff for making our visit as enjoyable as the first. We will be back!!

Last visit of the week to a school new to us (and nearest to us) – Abbeywood School. We had the best time ever here, enthusing and entertaining around 30 pupils of different ages along with their very supportive members of staff. A good time was had by all as they say and Kath and I couldn’t stop talking afterwards about the great response of the pupils. Thank you, Bethany, for thinking of us and organising this lovely event. We will be back very soon to meet up with the staff and pupils again, and to sign books for them.

And so ends a ‘luvly’ week in four ‘luvly’ schools. Next week will be very different, but hopefully just as ‘luvly’ as we head up into Bradford to visit four more Delta Academy Trust schools…watch for the next blog!



This post was written by peterjmurray on March 2nd, 2020 4:59 pm Comments Off on WORLD BOOK WEEK

It’s that special time of the year! As usual we were very busy with school bookings and our chosen location for 2020 World Book Week was the Leighton Buzzard / Bedford area.

       Molly’s new hairstyle (Space Buns)

Day 1 started at the Gilbert Inglefield Middle School in Leighton Buzzard. Kath and I were up bright and early in our rented farm cottage and soon on our way for our first visit to this school. Unfortunately, the gremlins beat us to it, and on our arrival we were told that building alterations had put the school projector out of action. However, whilst we sipped a welcome cup of tea to steady our nerves, a ‘rescue party’ of school maintenance staff and senior teachers remedied the situation and we were soon ‘good to go’!

My planned time with 205 year 5’s and 6’s was cut from 90 minutes to one hour, but I launched into my full blown Mokee Joe presentation and somehow got through the six-book series in the allocated time. I sensed the audience were pleasantly stunned by the end of the hour and were appropriately ‘fired up’ to pick up a book (one of mine of course) and READ!!  Job done!  We found out how well the job had been done when we returned the next day for our book signing. Watch this space!

Day 2. Well…the book signing was amazing! The Year 5’s and 6’s were queued out of the library door waiting to

Memorial in Leighton  Buzzard

get their hands on the Mokee Joe books. And so many of our new fans purchased the entire series of six books! Prior to the signing we presented our new book Poppy Warrior to the Year 7’s and 8’s. They too proved a great audience. It’s always a challenge to engage this older age group, but the Gilbert Inglefield ‘oldies’ were great. Lots of them acquired signed copies of the book during their own signing and the feedback from everyone was more than encouraging!

A BIG thank you to Mrs Lewin and everyone at the school for looking after us so well. We really hope we managed to make World Book Week a bit special for you.

Day 3. A reunion with a teacher friend of ours, Mrs Jones, at her new school (new to her!), the St Thomas Moore Catholic High School in Bedford. We decided to go all out with the scary stuff and present her Year 7’s with Scabbajack and Dawn Demons. It was a great setting with the screen and projector in their theatre/drama studio and very soon the audience were squirming in their seats, but loving every minute of it.

             Bedford Boys Prep

Day 4. World Book Day. A visit to Bedford Boy’s Prep School brought back memories of my own teaching days at Cheam Prep School in Berkshire. We were only there for the morning and worked hard with two audiences (all boys of course!)…around 200 KS2 boys for the first hour, and a similar number of boys in KS3 for the second hour. Most of them were dressed up as their favourite book characters, hence a very surreal atmosphere in the stunning theatre setting! I presented my new book, Poppy Warrior, to both sets of boys and drew them tantalisingly into the story. It’s great to report that both younger and older audiences were VERY easy to present to. They joined in eagerly and when the occasion demanded it, they sat so quietly you couldn’t hear a pin drop (forgive the cliché!).  A big thank you to the boys and staff for looking after us so well. It was a real pleasure and made World Book Day very special for us…I hope for the boys too!

Day 5.  Today was a catch up day and two book signings for us!  Firstly, back to Bedford Boys Prep, and after a lovely brunch provided by our new friend and librarian, Mrs Lumley-Wood, we signed lots and lots of Poppy Warriors for VERY eager boys, desperate to get into the story and no doubt erase the ‘cliff hanger’s I’d left them on the day before! Brilliant!

Onto St Thomas Moore High School next and we couldn’t believe how many Year 7’s arrived in the library during their lunchtime to take advantage of our two book deal, complete with a free Dawn Demons poster. Many pupils gave up most of their lunchtime to get their hands on the books…very flattering from our point of view! Thank you Mrs Jones for looking after us so well. Kath and I felt sad when the time came to depart. That’s one part of my job I don’t like; you spend such a short time with new friends and old friends before it’s off and away and on to the next school!

Well…that’s it. Another World Book Week comes to a close. Believe it or not I’ve just been booked for the next one in 2021! I hope I survive that long! Kath and I thank you all for such a great week and we hope you enjoyed this special literary time of the year as much as we did. See you all again soon.



This post was written by peterjmurray on February 9th, 2020 12:09 pm Comments Off on POPPY WARRIOR STORMS ONWARDS!

Two more Delta schools enjoyed our Poppy Warrior presentation – Hatfield Woodhouse and Crookesbroom

Matilda’s GGGF photo.

Primaries. Both schools were re-visits and proved just as enjoyable as the first time. The audiences were relatively small, but this only added to the intimacy of the story-telling and the sessions passed only too quickly. We sold and signed lots of books and posters for the children and one girl from Crookesbroom (Matilda) brought us some lovely pictures of her great-great grandfather in his world war 1 uniform, supplied by her grandmother. Brilliant!

It was onto Gosforth next, in the North East. We stayed in our favourite flat in Audley Road, so convenient for the nearby school visits. Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe, Gosforth East Middle School (GEMS), St Teresa’s Catholic School in Heaton and finally onto Richard Coates Primary School in Ponteland, all made for one of the best weeks we’ve ever had in this area.

Some of the highlights (there were many!) during our recent school visits:

  1. Lovely WW1 dedications like the beautiful bench we spotted in Prudhoe. After having such a great time at Highfield MS, we dropped into a coffee shop and spotted a lovely bench and a silhouette of a soldier cut out of wrought iron and painted in black. They looked stunning.

          WW1 Bench in Prudhoe

  2. Matilda’s Gran supplying her with memories of her Great-great Grandfather who fought in WW1
  3. The lovely display of my work as Patron of Reading at Crookesbroom Primary School.
  4. A painting of ‘Poppy Warrior’ by a keen fan at Conyers High School
  5. To finish off our NE trip we stayed in the chic Malmaison Hotel on the Newcastle Quayside…fabulous!

         Crookesbroom Display

The lovely display of my work (and Simon’s Icky Doo Dah books) at Crookesbroom made me feel very proud to be Patron of Reading for the Delta Academy Schools. I’ve just sent out my fourth Delta Newsletter and outlined some exciting projects for the future. I’m very keen to start up some art-based projects and hopefully my great cover artist – Paul Bryn Davies – as well as our son, Simon, will get involved.

GEMS Legacy is a project to commemorate the fallen soldiers of WW1 and how appropriate is that to hear about it on my visit to Gosforth East Middle school to promote Poppy Warrior!

Tasha, Georgia, Hannah and Isla in Year 8 are doing a wonderful job in promoting the project and I was only too keen

       The ‘GEMS Legacy Girls’

to help them. We donated a copy of Poppy Warrior and a poster to the girls and in return they presented me with a GEMS legacy pack containing various items connected to WW1.  You can  check them out on Facebook, but the girls are keen for you to ask your parents permission first.

Pete on the fashionable Newcastle Quayside at the end of a busy week!

To finish off this blog, here are two more pics. One of yours truly relaxing on the Quayside on the famous swing bridge just in front of our Malmaison Hotel. We took the time to visit the famous art gallery at the Baltic Flour Mill, but were disappointed by the content of the work. So here is a much more upbeat

Great Art Work from Jordan at Conyers!

colourful pic painted by one of our fans (Jordan) at Conyers High School. We visited this lovely high school just before Christmas and it already seems such a long time ago!

That’s about all for now. Hope you’re surviving the winter storm that is gusting around my office as I write. I’ll be glad when the winter is over and I can get out at the weekend to indulge in my favourite hobby – fishing!



This post was written by peterjmurray on January 26th, 2020 1:44 pm Comments Off on FAB START TO NEW YEAR!

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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