Monday, 5 March 2018

Back to School for Bond...

Did we all survive World Book Day? Did we manage to get through last week avoiding eleventh-hour costume stresses the night before dress up day? Did we cope? Are we still here?

For me, last week was a bit de-ja-vuey. (Defo a word.) By concerning myself with the weighty (lol) matters of typing away willy-nilly since leaving teaching, I've been wholly oblivious to the joys of World Book Day (or Book Week, for many schools) out in the real world. I've not given it a thought since 2011. That is until I look at Facebook each year, and see a variety of superheroes, Disney characters and movie characters (yeah, tenuous) depicted by the children of people I used to know. 

But like I say, this year was different. I was asked to go into my old school and talk to the children - wait for it - about being an author! Yeah, totes hilar. I laughed at first. But then it dawned on me that I have written a book, and I do actually like doing this, and maybe I could have some stuff to say that would pad out a lesson. Besides, I believe JK Rowling was unavailable.

So I went. I spent last Monday talking to the Year Five and Year Six classes of Thatto Heath Community Primary School. I didn't know the children at all - all my classes have long since left - so it was lovely to be there in another capacity. My brief was to talk about the process involved when writing a novel. I planned it out like a real live teacher would. Like I say, very de-ja-vuey.

And so, like the benevolent life-force that I am, I share with you what I told them. Here are my seven tips for writing a novel. You're welcome. 

Imparting wisdom,
shaping minds.
Or something.
So there we have it. My fool-proof guide to cracking on with the book inside you. I stopped there because I was talking to the Upper Juniors and not delegates at a 'How Do I Get My Book on Amazon' conference. I didn't think the nitty-gritty of book-formatting or PDF conversions merited much of Book Week's time. Despite that, several children asked questions about the next steps, and I waffled away about indie-publishing, cover design and at one memorable moment, the cost of ISBN numbers. Thankfully no one keeled over in boredom or walked out in disgust. That was good. In fact, they seemed to accept I was there with insight to share. A lovely feeling! 

In all seriousness, I met some lovely young people, many of whom were filled to the brim with questions and enthusiasm. Despite the Government's best efforts, it was good to see kids' imaginations are still in tact. If events like Book Week do nothing else, they reminds us that reading is supposed to be a pleasurable experience. It's something to enjoy, not endure. It's something to chat about with other people. So now that dress-up day is over, let's raise a glass that we survived another year, and relax with a stiff drink and a good book.

Have a lovely week, folks.  


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