I reckon I visited some 500 children last week. And for someone who seldom leaves their bat-cave, that’s an awful lot of smiling! (My face still hurts!♥) It was an amazing week, kicking-off with Monmouth Literary Festival where I worked with a top team of sixth formers from Monmouth Comprehensive, performing an Undead Pets workshop at local primary schools.
Then it was on to Leicester for the ‘Our Best Book Award.‘ Wow! What a reception!! Highlights included being mobbed by hundreds of kids for autographs – (who me? Seriously?) and watching pupils perform an awesome Undead Pets zombie tribute dance! Then it was back on the bus and on to Literally Coventry to meet some keen Undead Pets fans in Waterstones!
Phew! What a week! So many highs. No lows. But some valuable lessons learned about life on the road, such as:
1. Do get yourself a good deodorant! Even the bravest among you will probably get the willies when faced with 300 enthusiastic young readers who appear to have muddled you up with someone from One Direction! (Thank you Leicester Our Best Book Awards. I had the best time EVER!) Remember: sweaty armpits don’t win friends.
2. Don’t leave your secret stash of Dairy Milk in the car while you’re performing on a sunny day. Treat chocolate like you’d treat a pet dog/child/old auntie. Keep it cool. Rivers of melted chocolate around your gear stick is not helpful when navigating the M42.
3. Do practise following the Sat Nav lady. This will avoid: ’does she mean this left, or that one? NOOOO!’ (author now heading the wrong way down the M1!)
4. Don’t put on your make-up in the dark before you set off for your event. You will look like a corpse.
5. Do arrive early. But not so early that you scare the organisers. See above.
6. Don’t break in your ‘presentable’ shoes on the day of the event. Sore feet and friendly- smiley-face are not friends.
7. Do have more than one set of ‘presentable’ clothes. By day three the smell may put-off the children!
8. Don’t be freaked-out by extremely personal questions. How much money do you make? How old are you?
9. Do be prepared to return from your brief moment of glory to the humdrum life you left behind that morning: washing everyone’s pants and cleaning the loo.
What a week!
As well as meeting some amazing kids, I met some astonishing adults too! A special mention must go to the team behind Leicester ‘Our Best Book Award,’ Paul Gobey and Sandy Gibbons. They are doing an exceptional job of bringing books to young people in Leicester. Thank you for including Undead Pets in your wonderful competition!
And great to meet my new friend Fleur Hitchcock too. As well as being a super author, she’s also a lovely lady. Her new book is out this week and I can’t wait to read it!
Thanks to the fantastic team of sixth form volunteers at Monmouth Literary Festival. I wish I could take you with me everywhere! You guys are going to be running the world soon!
And thanks to Literally Coventry and Ashley and the team at Waterstones for hosting me and the Undead Pets.
Catch up soon!