|With my hosts Susan and Graham Grant|
|With my captive audience|
Graham Grant of the International School Singapore very kindly invited Emma Nicholson and me to conduct talks and workshops at the school during Book Week. Of course we were thrilled to have been asked and we immediately got down to planning our joint workshops and our individual talks.
If you've had look at some of my previous posts, you'll know that Emma recently published her awesome middle grade book Princess Petunia's Dragon and she was looking forward to seeing what her audience thought of it. So a couple of weeks before our visit we took about six hours to work out what we were going to say and do to hopefully inspire kids to write their own stories.
|Emma's Book Palace of copies of Princess Petunia's Dragon|
Writers basically work alone for the most part so I like doing workshops and talks with friends who are writers as well. It gives us a chance to bounce ideas off one another and, truth be told, I need someone to rein me in at times and Emma's really good at that. On more than one occasion, she's told me when I should be quiet! But that doesn't mean I always listen to her.
|Emma at the printers!|
By the time of our school visit, we were all set. I was scheduled to do two talks and two joint workshops with Emma. An hour before my talk I received a call from my distributor Denise from Closetful of Books who fretted: "You're still at home? Why are you still at home?"
By the tone of her voice I realised I should jump into a taxi as fast as possible. Thankfully I live about 10 minutes away from the school and so I was there in no time. The guard at the school took down my particulars and handed me a pass that I had to make sure I did not lose.
|Caught trying to add a few illustrations to Sarah Mounsey's|
"What? What do you mean?" I responded.
Denise sighed: "I know you, David, and you are capable of going off topic."
|Denise and Sarah|
We plugged the projector into my computer and then the kids streamed in class by class. I handed my camera to Denise and asked her to take photos.
|Marilu Burden, Emma and Susan Grant|
I kicked off my talk by telling the kids about my earliest memories of reading and about what inspired me to start writing and why my school report card always looked like it had been fatally injured in a combat zone.
|RIP: My report card from school.|
It sustained fatal injuries during my school years
I have to say the kids were so well behaved, welcoming, and so, so smart. They're a lot smarter than I was at their age and I'm sure Denise would say that they are a lot smarter than me now, right, Denise?
The kids at my second talk were just as fun, smart and interesting as the kids at my first talk. Then it was time to pack up, go home and get ready for another day at school.
You know the funny thing is that when I was in school I couldn't wait to leave and now that I'm a grown-up, a fact that is quite possibly open for debate, I can't wait to go back. Why is school now so much more fun than when it was back then?
As I left, Denise paid me a priceless compliment. She said: "It was good. I underestimated you." Thanks, Denise! And thanks to Susan, Marilu and Graham for arranging a terrific first day!