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Carrant Brook Junior

Friday May 17th 2024

Dear Diary,

My ninth school visit was to Carrant Brook Junior. I find I’m not nervous about delivering my presentation anymore… until I get to the part during the assembly where I read two chapters from my book!!! As always, a deathly silence descended when I started reading, and I went into my normal blind panic, with the voice inside my head saying, ‘They hate it! Stop reading. You’re not cut out for this!’ But I powered through my fear and finally reached the end of the second chapter before nervously asking, ‘So what did you think?’ And once again, I was surprised to receive positive responses. I guess the pupils at all the schools I’ve been to are simply attentive and actively listening, but it really is quite daunting to not be able to gauge how the story is being received at the time of reading. Once the nerves from that part had subsided, I soon settled down again and relaxed. And after the assembly concluded, I put on sessions with each of the individual Year Groups, choosing a different selection of interactive activities for each one. It always amazes me how many activities can be squeezed into an hour, and it’s such a joy to see how incredibly talented all the children are – and what fun and crazy stories we can come up with together off the top of our heads. I came away from Carrant Brook Junior with a huge smile on my face and hundreds of photos of all the artwork and writing that was created throughout the day. As well as a number of gifts, by way of pictures and stories that various children had presented me with, that I’ve really enjoyed poring over ever since. The staff at Carrant Brook were wonderful from the moment I pulled into the car park to the moment I left. As were the pupils, who joined in wholeheartedly with everything and gave me many super memories to treasure. I still can’t quite believe I managed to sell so many copies of WARNING: Magic Can Be Dangerous! today… even though I had no books with me to sell!!! It was such a pain that my latest batch of author copies didn’t arrive in time for this visit. (As sod’s law would have it, they arrived the moment I returned home.) But the books are now all signed and dedicated and ready for me to drop back into Carrant Brook next week. I wouldn’t have sold any books at all without the amazing team effort from all the teachers at the end of the day! They were utterly incredible, grabbing pens, racing around with order forms, and managing the queue. And one of the pupils, Maisie, kindly stayed on after school to help with book sales. She even helped me pack up afterwards! When she receives her signed copy, she’ll see I’ve tucked a little envelope inside with a small thank you from me.




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