Events and Appearances


I am grinning like a fool after some excellent events for World Book Day 2010.

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Here I am above doing my stuff yesterday at The Oakwood School in Surrey, where I spoke to three great groups from the school’s Year 7, Year 9 and Year 11. [Particular thanks to Aaron for his wonderfully detailed questions about The Black Tattoo.] Then today I was at CLR James Library in my home borough of Hackney, for a fine Q&A session with a sparkling group of Year 5s and 6s (literally sparkling, in the case of the young lady who wore her fairy crown to the talk) from Holy Trinity Primary School. All four sessions were an absolute delight. My thanks and best wishes to everyone I met and spoke to.

It’s only a few weeks now until the launch of Crawlers, and I am fairly fizzing with excitement – not least because I’m about to up sticks from this blog and move online house to the brand new Crawlers website!

The Mighty Katie WebSphinx is putting the finishing touches to the site right now. Stand by for further announcements! :D

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Today I did my stuff at The Chafford School, in Rainham, Essex. I think you can tell from this pic how I felt things went. ;D

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I’ve had my nose to the story grindstone lately working on Phase Four, so a dayful of great chats with the Chafford’s charming and effervescent pupils was just the ticket. Thanks, everyone!

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Here are some quick pics from my first school event of 2010, namely six talks with the awesomely enthusiastic pupils of Market Bosworth High School, Leicestershire.

Here I am (above) getting into it. I’ll have you know I had to leave my eyeballs charging all night to get that maniacal gleam.

Here, below, is one of the new star of the show. The book’s not out ’til April – this is my only proof copy! – but by popular demand (a show of hands vote!) I read the opening scene of Crawlers at the end of session three.

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Here’s a glimpse of post-talk signing frenzy. HEE HEE HEE!

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…And this next pic gives you a pretty good idea of what a kick a terrific school visit like this tends to give me.

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A massive THANK YOU to everyone I met and spoke to today. Roll on tomorrow! :D

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

I’d thought I was all finished with school events for 2009 but today I got to do a bonus one, having been invited at shortish notice [via TBM] to talk to Year 8 students at Oxted School, Surrey.

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The group were a little quieter than I’ve been used to lately. In fact during my readings from Black Tat, then Tim, and then (on its first school appearance looking like a proper book-!) Crawlers, the students were utterly pin-drop silent. Accustomed to having to work hard to get the attention of more boisterous groups, I was a bit disconcerted at first! But as the session went on hands started to go up and I was asked some fantastic questions. My thanks to everyone there for listening to me so carefully.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Today was my last school event of 2009, as I’m spending the remainder of the year hunkered down with Phase Four of my Sinister Masterplan. But my visit to The Ridgeway School, Swindon, was a great one to finish off with. Everyone I spoke to over my three sessions with groups from Ridgeway’s Year 7 and Year 9 was unfailingly polite, attentive, enthusiastic and awesome.

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If you’re from Ridgeway, reading this, a colossal thank you for your warm welcome and excellent questions.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Some people might find the sight of two hundred expectant young faces looking up at them to be somewhat alarming.

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Not me. Yesterday I did my stuff at Trent College, near Nottingham, and spent most of the day cackling like a loon. :D

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A huge and gleeful thank you to everyone in my sessions there for welcoming me so warmly, listening so attentively and for asking such awesome questions.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

My first school visit of the new academic year was a two-day booking at The Harwich School in Essex. It was brilliant. The library, where I did my talks, was equipped with a laptop and a digital projector. Since I’ve just this week been sent the latest version of what might become the cover for CRAWLERS, I took the opportunity to test it out on its target audience…!

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The cover is a work-in-progress, so I’m not going to show it to you any more clearly than this (above) for now. But I will say that people’s reactions ['Sick', 'Cool' and - especially - 'Ew!'] were pretty much exactly what my publishers and I are hoping for. HEE HEE HEE!

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A monster thank you to Mr Dace (above) for inviting me and organizing this terrific visit, and huge and gleeful thanks to everyone I met at Harwich for the wonderful, warm welcome they gave me. All the questions I was asked over the course of the two days were excellent. Here’s one from Bex, 12, who wrote in to the Tim Guestbook:

What’s it like being an author? I wish to be one when I’m older.

I love being an author. It’s my dream job. But like any job, it’s not for everyone. Luckily it’s an easy one to try: all you have to do is sit down, make up a thrilling story, and write it – it’s as simple, and as difficult, as that.

The internet is full of thousands of blogs and websites written by authors, which may also give you an idea of what being one is like. For a place to start, try www.trappedbymonsters.com , the joint blog I’m involved in with seven other authors (you can see a poster for Dragon Orb by one of them, Mark Robson, in the first pic above!) All their websites are fabulous, and they’re easy to find if you follow the links on the TBM ‘authors‘ page. But nothing will show you what being an author is like as definitely as making the time to give it a go for yourself.

Whether you find it suits you, or you don’t, I wish you the best of luck.

Sam

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

On Monday I finished draft three of PHASE THREE and sent it out to my agents and editors. Afterwards I was so weirdly and utterly knackered that I seem to have spent most of the week asleep: today’s visit to Mossbourne Community Academy was, therefore, a much-needed blast of adrenaline and glee, as I think these pics will demonstrate. ;)

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Here’s me above doing some relatively restrained introductory arm-waving at the start of the talk. As anyone who follows this blog or who’s seen me do my stuff will know, this is actually strangely low-key and undemonstrative for me. But don’t worry…

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As the excellent questions started to flow from today’s awesome audiences from Mossbourne’s Year 7, the old energy started coming back to me. And soon enough…

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Yep, here I am back at full speed, looking like I’m either directing traffic, dancing with someone who is very tall and invisible, or, possibly, doing an impression of a Dalek.

This was my last school visit of the academic year, and it was a great one to end up on. All three groups were fantastically welcoming and enthusiastic. Also – and this was particularly brilliant – at the end of each session, thanks to this initiative, everyone I spoke to was given one of my books for free, to keep and (I hope!) enjoy over the summer holidays.

My thanks to Ms Berggren for inviting me today (and for taking these pics!) But thanks, too, to everyone I’ve met at all my school visits this academic year. Every single one was an absolute hoot, and I’m eagerly looking forward to more. :D

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Here are some pics from today’s delightful visit to Tollgate Primary School.

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I spoke to Tollgate’s Years 4, 5 and 6 – so this was the youngest audience I’ve met so far. But that seemed to make no difference whatsoever to the depth and sophistication of their questions, which flew thick and fast from the start. Hope my replies were as good! :D

Here’s a pic from the signing session afterwards…

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And here’s a pic that makes me very, very happy…! :D

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I was enormously impressed by Tollgate. Its staff and students alike are wonderfully enthusiastic, and clearly deeply dedicated to their work together. A big thank you to John from the fantastic Newham Bookshop for supplying the books, but an especially massive thank you to anyone from Tollgate who happens to be reading this. You have a terrific school, and visiting was a pleasure.

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PS: This is probably going to be my last blog post before the end of Phase Three, Draft Three. See you on the other side! ;)

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

The pics from my talk at yesterday’s fabulous Leicester Teen Read Expo are… a bit worrying. Perhaps the combination of my recent Trapped By Monsters ordeal and the oncoming deadline for draft three of Phase Three is affecting me more than I thought.

I remember an excellent session, full of great questions from a brilliant audience of keen readers. But these pictures seem to tell a different story. See what you think:

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Here’s one of me at the start, waving Black Tat around in my usual enthusiastic manner. Business as normal – or as close to that as I ever seem to manage. But…

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Here’s one of me apparently turning into some kind of shambling zombie, animated only by the raging hunger for moist, fresh brains. And here…

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…I appear to be advancing on one of my hapless listeners, hands poised to grapple, maim and rend, with the demonic gleam of battle in my eyes!

Erm… I’m just going to hope for the best(!) and offer an enormous and gleeful thank you to Ian and his team for having me along to what was a thoroughly brilliant day. Thanks, too, to awesome authors Bali Rai, Mike Carey, Ally Kennen, Keith Gray and Dan Tunstall, and to everyone else who was there. I returned home feeling inspired and invigorated. I just hope those feelings aren’t because I, y’know, ate somebody.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

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