Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fabulous author visit to Brisley CE School

This week I was fortunate enough to spend a whole day at Brisley CE Primary School, having been invited by the headteacher via pupil, Izzy Imries.

The first session was my author talk which included: what authors do, what readers expect from authors and how authors make readers feel. We had some fun looking at how authors can be mean too. We also spent some time defining the differences between heroes and superheroes.

During the subsequent sessions we looked at creating our own heroes and superheroes on paper. Each group used a bag of character props to come up with ideas then made notes and drew their character. 

There were some fantastic discussions ahead of this and the pupils did well to listen to all the ideas given in their group. 

I had a brilliant day thanks to the wonderfully receptive pupils and welcoming staff.

Here is some feedback from the day:

From staff:
“ The children thoroughly enjoyed Debbie’s visit. They responded well to her imaginative and engaging author talk and were very keen to use Debbie’s props to construct their own heroes and super heroes in the workshop.”
“Debbie was an inspiration to the children.”

From children:
“The story when she was acting out being a superhero was really funny. They had masks and fairy wings and it was very good!”
“It was really good – she made us laugh a lot which gets our attention. It was entertaining and the books will be very good to educate us in our writing skills.”

Thursday, May 07, 2015

What is a Pawnbroker?

It has occurred to me that some of my readers might not know exactly what a pawnbroker is. Bearing in mind that one plays a major role in Marvin's Curse, it might be a good idea to have it explained.

From the Pawnbroker Association website:

Like a bank a pawnbroker earns income on the interest that is charged on the loan secured by a pledged item. In order to accept goods into pawn a pawnbroker makes an on-the-spot valuation of the goods. The customer and the pawnbroker will agree the sum to be advanced... When the loan and the interest are paid, the goods are returned to the customer.

If the customer does not renew the loan, the pawnbroker may take steps to dispose of the goods.  



So basically, you take something to the pawnbrokers of value. They make you an offer of a loan for it and quote you interest depending on how long you want the loan for, If you pay the loan back with the interest, you get your goods back. If not, the pawnbroker is entitled to sell your goods.


In Marvin's Curse, Stella has 'pawned' her memories with Old Kedigan, a pawnbroker in Moghador. These were her 'items' of value, but why did she pawn them?


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Meeting Readers

It's always lovely to meet readers of my books and over the years I have bumped into many at bookshops, school fairs and on school visits. This meeting with reader Lucy Hearle though was special as it was the first time I had met a reader from Norfolk, which is where I now live. 
There I was in Waterstone's, looking for Spanish activity books when Lucy came up and said hello. I had signed all three Aggie Lichen books for her at the East Anglian Game & Country Show just last weekend. She said she had started reading the first book and was enjoying it which is always a relief to hear. I'm hoping to visit Lucy's school, Springwood High School, in the near future and feel reassured that I will see at least one familiar face among the audience. Thanks, Lucy.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Nearing the end...

So, I have now reached around 58,000 in the Iron City story. It's becoming very clear that I will have to provide an ending pretty soon for Rae and George. I can't keep getting them imto all these scrapes, can I? I mean, eventually, something has got to give. Someone must emerge victorious, surely - or not. Perhaps someone should die...

The Iron City (Draft Cover)

The story is all mapped out in my head and scribbled in several notebooks, but the great thing with writing is that a single thought can change which path the characters take. That means my plan is forever evolving and what was once the ending is either trashed or converted into another obstacle along the way. 

What will become of Rae and George? What becomes of their new friends? And how about those dragons? Arrrggghhh!