Put down the pen, get out the car keys…

 It’s time for the balancing act again – school visits and events v. writing. My job is, of course, to write but I also have to promote my books. For a children’s writer that means going into schools and libraries and meeting children, stunning them with my brilliance, then coming home again.

Today I’m driving to Rishworth School on the outskirts of Halifax in Yorkshire. I’m doing a Reads United event with Tom Palmer. I haven’t worked with Tom since July so it will be nice catching up with him again. We can pick up our banter about our rival football teams where we left off. Unfortunately last time we met we were both in League One but spawny Leeds were promoted to the Championship and are now fifth. We remained in League One and are now 4th, thanks to Swindon snatching 3 points in injury time off us last Saturday. I expect Tom will point this out at some point or other unless he’s too dazzled by the new Town shirt I’ll be wearing!

On Friday I’ll be doing something completely different; speaking to 200 students who are training to be teachers at a conference at Sheffield Hallam University. This is part of a Write Away (www.writeaway.co.uk) venture. I can’t wait to do this. First thing I’m going to do is fall on my knees and beg them to read stories, from beginning to end, mind, not just puny extracts, to their classes every day for the whole of their teaching careers. Hope there’s a thick carpet to cushion the fall…

Saturday sees me ‘in conversation’ – just like they do on telly – with Gwen Grant as part of the Alan Sillitoe event in Nottingham (www.sillitoe.com) . As if that isn’t enough, on Sunday I’ll be heading to Lancashire for two more days with Tom at the Shout About Books festival.

 After that …. big cup of tea and back to my writing… until the 11th when the school visits start again…

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