I love to inspire children to read and write. As an author of Children’s books, I am delighted to be invited to visit a school, and I have attended schools with children of all ages.
In a primary school, I read from my book and answer questions from the children and teachers. In a senior school, I give a presentation about myself and my writing journey and answer questions from the children and teachers. In some senior schools, I have invited the children to write their own stories. I then collate those stories into a book, which they can purchase on Amazon. The process inspires the children to write the best story they can.
The children are exceptional; their enthusiasm for knowledge about my writing process is great, and it’s a real honour to be asked. Children gain so much from me as an author; I talk through how I start with an idea and create the story and the journey I go on to create the characters and events. I also give tips on checking and editing their stories. I use the process only to review one thing, such as punctuation, spelling, and correct use of the tense. If I try to review and edit too many things at once, I will miss something. I also suggest that they read each other’s work aloud. When writing the story themselves, it is easy to gloss over any mistakes, and the process of having the work read to them highlights any errors.
As a child, I was always reading, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Mary Norton. Once I had read one book by the author, I would then read all of their books. When a child reads one of my books, I hope they then want to read everything I have written. My reading habits have not changed. Once I discover a new author whose work I enjoy, I then read everything they have written.
I inspired a friend’s child to read, who was not interested in reading before he read my book ‘The Chocolate Thief’. He is desperate for me to publish my new children’s book, ‘Hugo’s Huge Feet’. I have chosen his name as one of the main characters in my next book – I thought it was only fair to acknowledge him as it was one of my stories that started his reading journey. I love to read, and I think it is a shame some children don’t, but Audiobooks make it easier for children to be absorbed in a story, especially if they struggle with the written word.
On a recent primary school visit, when I asked the children who their favourite author was, one child said Kath Kirkland. It was an emotional moment and one that I will cherish as I continue on my writing journey.