Hello and welcome to our blog! As you’ll know if you’ve read the “About” section, Jo and I are not yet published but we’re hoping 2013 will be our year. I wanted to share my first taste of fame … ok, it’s not really fame but it made me feel special and like a real writer!
“My mummy’s written a book,” my six-year-old daughter had announced to her year 2 teacher who just happens to be the Deputy Head of her school and the Head of Literacy. For once, this was true … unlike recent declarations such as, “mummy’s pregnant” (no; just fat!), “I have a parrot and it’s bitten my arm,” and, “a man came to school today and tested me for allergies. I’m allergic to mince!” The upshot was that this wasn’t going to be an opportunity her teacher ignored and I was swiftly invited into school to deliver a talk to year 6 (top juniors in old money) about my writing.
In conversation with the year 6 teacher, I tentatively broached the subject … “you do realise I’m not actually a published writer … yet.” She couldn’t have responded better if I’d paid her – “the mere fact that you love writing and have written a book, whether published or not, is good enough for us. The children are so excited to meet you!”
I have to say, it was one of the most enjoyable 90 minutes I’ve had for a long time. I’m a Brown Owl so I’m used to working with roughly that age group (although girls only) so I was able to pitch the level about right and ensure lots of interaction. I think this contributed massively to the success. The class were stars; so attentive and eager to participate and ask questions. I could have talked and interacted with them about writing all day but, sadly, they had an exam to do so we had to say goodbye.
What was really lovely is that the teacher asked if they could write to me. They’d been asked to come up with 3 questions before I came and we’d only had a chance to hear one question from about 1/3 of the class. A week later, a bundle of letters came home and I was genuinely touched by their content. As well as some intelligent questions, they told me what they liked reading, whether they enjoyed writing and what they learned from my visit. I was also praised for my talk, my perseverance (I started my book 10 years ago!) and wished luck in my quest to be published later this year.
I know a lot of writers talk about being invited to speak at WI meetings or other events and it not being worth their while i.e. they probably didn’t sell any (or not many) books. I completely get where they’re coming from on this. However, I’d recommend to any writer who is confident at speaking in public to get to at least one local primary school. If I have inspired just one of that class to write and/or one of that class to read more, then I’ve been a great success. And, taking the hardline on sales, if (when) I get published, I’m sure quite a few of them will convince their mums or sisters to rush out and buy my book because they’ve met me and I told them all about my journey to write it. Surely that can only be a good thing?!!!!!
Love & all things romantic, Julie xxx