I’ve surprised myself that I really enjoy book events – something I didn’t expect when I started out doing them. I work with a great age group that are enthusiastic and full of ideas, and are not afraid to push things a little!
One such event took place at Oxford’s Bookfeast on Tuesday, as part of their annual schools festival. I did a couple of drawing-and-talking activities in the wonderful surroundings of the Pitt Rivers Museum, hidden at the back of the University’s Natural History Museum. The Pitt Rivers Museum holds a huge collection of anthropology and archaeology from around the world and made for an amazing venue. So many inspirational objects to look at whilst I scribbled away on the flip chart!
The kids are also very good at asking very direct questions. These didn’t all come from Tuesday’s audience but are fairly representative of the type of things I get asked:
I’m always trying to think of ways to improve my presentation and make it more entertaining, and am curious to see what other authors do.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to match author Veronica Cosantelli, however, who turned up for her event with her corn snake, named Thisbe, in tow. I tried to take a snap but Thisbe was just too busy to pose – she’d already done a runner in the car park! Gorgeous colours and patterns on her scales. I’m sure she was a hit with the audience.
Thanks so much to the organisers of Bookfeast for inviting me along for the day, and in particular to volunteers Sue and Mervyn who looked after me so well. As ex-teachers they were great with the kids which is always helpful.
My co-creator on JAMPIRES (coming soon!), Sarah McIntyre, has written a blog post for event organisers on how to make for a good author visit. There should probably be a companion piece on ‘How to be a good author when on a visit’ – it’s always good to be as prepared as possible!