On Sunday night 27th May I had nightmares about Skype not working and not having IT support to fix it, I woke up in a cold sweat and made sure that I tested everything on the Monday.
On Tuesday 29th May author Andrew Taylor spoke to the Farringtons School Year 7 Able, Gifted & Talented English group. They had all read the sample chapter available on the Usborne website and while they were waiting for the visit to begin they passed around my proof copy and stroked it enviously, before giving it back to me with great reluctance.
After an initial problem with Skype which seemed to make the nightmares of technology failure that I had on Sunday night come true our computers connected and Andrew Taylor appeared on the whiteboard to the cheers of the Year 7s.
Mr Taylor began by chatting about his writing career and the different places he had lived before launching into his first reading from the book, the students were entranced and once he had finished applauded loudly. He then asked them some questions about what they were afraid of and explained how he had used his fears in the book and gave them some tips on how to write using their own experiences and fears before encouraging them to ask their own questions.
The questions ranged from the odd “Are you afraid of clowns?” to “Are you afraid of beautiful people as the book is about making teenagers perfect?” and as an eagle-eyed member of the audience had spotted some toys in the background they started quizzing him about his family, if children influenced his writing and if he wanted his child to be a writer one day.
The entire event lasted just under an hour and Mr Taylor spoke with warmth and humour and totally won over his audience with his readings and answers to their questions. There was one student who was openly suspicious about the whole endeavour when it was announced weeks ago but even she was convinced by the end of the session. Several students have asked me to order copies of The Adjusters on their behalf to go with their signed book plates and three more have told me that their parents have ordered copies for them.