Our author visits take place in the last week of the Summer Term each year and are usually aimed at our Shell pupils.
Julia golding wows the shells
We were thrilled to welcome back multi-award winning author Julia Golding to speak to Shells on Monday 4th July 2016. Julia's talks always involve audience participation, as well as taking us through her different pen names and multiple book genres. This year was no exception with Shell volunteers choosing hats and flash cards detailing different scenarios to create a mini plot line - to much hilarity.
We also had a 'movie mash-up' screening with Julia asking us to identify particular books from a couple of excerpts from notable screen and TV hits, for example Tom Brown's School Days crossed with Fellowship of the Ring gave us J K Rowling's Harry Potter.
Pictured below is Evan Lloyd, one of our intrepid volunteers, who describes his experience of her visit: "The Julia Golding talk was detailed because she talked about her books in a way so she doesn't give it away. She also engaged the audience and brought people on, including myself, and gave us our own story. I was a Roman soldier with a question mark as the ending of my story."
And a few more pictures from Julia's summer visit!
And now watch the trailer for Julia's latest book, Mel Foster and the Demon Butler.
And a few snippets of our past author visits ...
Alex Gutteridge and Bablake fans with her debut novel Last Chance Angel. Alex explained that she was inspired to write her book after a childhood bicycle accident. Fortunately Alex wasn't hurt but the incident led to her thinking about the 'what ifs' and of being given the opportunity to make amends with family and friends, if the worst had happened. In her novel Jess does just that ....
Ann Evans, a local author of both fiction and fact, has entertained the Shells and Second Years a number of times over the years. As well as her rip-roaring adventure books, Ann has also written a children's book about the history of her home town, Coventry. On previous visits, Ann has read extracts from her novels and always encourages pupils to pick up a pen and start their own writing journey. In collaboration with her fellow author, Karen King, Ann has also run writing workshops for our Second Year pupils.
Lauren James, one of our amazing past pupils, and her debut novel The Next Together which, excitingly, has been longlisted for the Branford Bose Award 2016. The Senior Book Club voted Lauren's book as the best read of the Spring Term 2016 and are eagerly awaiting the sequel The Last Beginning which is published in November 2016.
Sporting a pair of black sparkly boots, Ali Sparkes used her time-travel-whirly-gadget to transport us back in time. There we met her younger self who was inspired to read and write having discovered Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. Ali involved the enthralled Shells in much of her talk and quizzed them about their ‘light-bulb’ book discoveries that first triggered a love of reading. She held up response boards at intervals when she needed ‘applause’, ‘gasps’ and other exclamations. The many ‘unfortunately … ’ rejection letters that Ali received did not deter her and her first published book, Frozen in Time, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2010.
Mark Walden, another award-winning author and ex-Bablake pupil, entertained Second Years with his H.I.V.E series of books - tales of espionage set in a school. Mark admitted under questioning that he had drawn character traits from some of his former teachers and fellow pupils and had woven them into his fictitious institution!