I recently visited Manor Park School, where I was given a tour by the lovely Ms Hodgson and met lots of friendly students.
Salmek’s Crystal was chosen as the Manor Park Book Club read for Year 4 students, and it was a real pleasure to answer their questions and get some interesting feedback on the book. This is one of the best bits about writing – getting to share it with other people and hearing about what they liked (and sometimes, what they didn’t like!).
The great thing about the Manor Park School Book Club is that the children choose to attend this in their lunch hour; it’s not something they are made to do. So the fact that they willingly turned up during their break and were enthusiastic and complimentary about the story, was inspiring.
A few of the questions I was asked were:
Q: Where did the name Salmek come from?
A: The name came to me in a daydream and I couldn’t change it to anything else (even though I tried to). It had to be Salmek.
Q: Are you going to have a film made of the book?
A: Whenever Danny Boyle or Peter Jackson is free, yes, that would be great! I have always seen The Rainbow Serpent Trilogy as a film playing out in my head, and I just write down what I see, so to me, it’s already a movie.
Q: Who inspired the characters, especially George?
A: The characters are all a mish-mash of different people really, but George is loosely based on one of my uncles who was rather eccentric and very lovable.
Q: Have you finished book two yet?
A: The first draft is complete but there is more work to do to get to the final, finished, proper book.
Q: Have you been to Cuba?
A: Sadly, not yet.
Q: Have you been to Egypt and India – all the places that are featured in Book One?
A: Yes, I have been really lucky and have travelled to both of these places. I would like to go again one day!
Q: When did you start writing stories?
A: I have been writing stories and poems from a very young age – probably about six (ish).
The photo above shows how much fun we had (assisted by a joke or two from Ms Hodgson as she took it!)
Thanks to all the staff and pupils for making it such a fun visit.