St John's Jun & Inf - March 2014

I spent a lovely day visiting each class for half an hour. The youngest classes heard the story of 'Toby is Lost' with puppets, then an interactive version of 'Thief' with the children using the puppets. Junior classes heard the story of 'Mikey and Sammy', about a boy who invents his own robot which has a mind of its own! The older children then went on to invent their own class stories, each adding the next line. They were very inventive and funny, making for fast-paced sessions! We also talked about writing and how my books came to be published. Thankyou for a very enjoyable day! Below is a young man who went home and created his own Toby. Thankyou to his mum who emailed it to me and gave me permission to add it to my site.


Swinton Community School - March, 2014 World Book Day

I had a wonderful afternoon on my annual visit to Swinton School. The pupils were well deserving of their prizes in the Accelerated Reading Programme. They had lots of questions about my writing and urged me to complete my next book 'Witness', as soon as possible. It is such an encouragement to my writing to have such keen readers. They also shared their favourite books with me and, as usual, introduced me to authors I have not yet tried. Here are some of the lovely letters I received after my visit:


Broom Valley Junior and Infants - February, 2014

I had an enjoyable day with pupils aged 5 & 6 years. I spent the day with one class in the morning and another in the afternoon. We had a wonderful time. I told my 'Toby is Lost' story with puppets and then the children took over the puppets while I told the story of 'Thief'. They had a good time watching their classmates chasing the thief. The children then made up their own puppet stories and re-enacted them for the rest of the class. They were very inventive. After break came an art session with children using my drawing aids to create their own woodland scenes, complete with owls and squirrels.


Swinton Community School for World Book Day 2013

I was warmly welcomed to Swinton Community School again this year. Their theme was the Wizard of Oz with a Mad Hatter's tea party. The pupils had all won awards for either reading most words in the last year or scoring highest in the Accelerated Reading program. Both staff and pupils were full of questions and enthusiasm which made the visit interesting and fun. Thanks for inviting me and well done to you all.


Book Signing – 4th August, 2012 - Waterstones, 26 The Arcade, Meadowhall, Sheffield.

Thanks to all those who came to see me during my booksigning at Waterstones, I enjoyed chatting to you all. Thanks especially to those who bought copies of my books and I hope you enjoy them.

Wickersley Library - 'International Children's Book Day' - April 2011

On 2nd April, I visited Wickersley Library on 'International Children's Book Day' and signed the pledge to share 20 books with children over the next year. This is part of the 'Book Start' initiative. I love reading and want to encourage everyone to find the genre they can enjoy. I remember sitting on my mum's knee as a child, listening to her read the 'Enchanted Wood Series' by Enid Blyton. She would put on all the voices and I never wanted her to stop. "Just another chapter, Mum," I would beg. "Oh, Gail, my voice is hoarse," she would reply. I sometimes got that extra chapter though!

I had a great time with the Mums and toddlers and enjoyed singing 'I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow' and 'The Wheels on the bus' along with many others. I even had a cuddle from the blue book start bear!

Swinton Community School for World Book Day - March 2012

On 1st March, I again attended Swinton Community School for World Book Day. I met with pupils who had all made great achievements in the 'Accelerated Reading Program' either by reading the most words or by completing the most quizzes. The young people were enthusiastic and friendly asking lots of questions. I got the impression that a number of them would like to become authors themselves and I wish them every success.

Parkside Community School, Chesterfield - December 2011

I judged a writing competition for Parkside Community School, Chesterfield and some local primary schools. There were over 100 entries from KS2, 3, 4 and staff members. Each had to compose a story in no more than 50 words. I was amazed at the standard of entries and had a wonderful time reading them. The hardest part was picking a winner and runner up in each category, they were all so good! I did manage to make a decision though and had an enjoyable time on 6th December, meeting the entrants and giving out their rewards. I was a little late arriving as I got well and truly lost on the way there! But thanks to a last minute phone call to the school they managed to direct me the last part of the way. Thanks to all of the school for giving me such a warm welcome and well done to all the entrants!

BBC Radio Sheffield - 21st June, 2011

I got lost on the way and nearly didn’t make my first radio interview! Thanks to some friendly Sheffield shoppers who pointed me in the right direction I got there in the nick of time and loved it! Rony Robinson was very friendly and when I listened to it afterwards I found I’d actually managed to speak coherently. A major achievement!

World Book Day – 3rd March 2011

Swinton Community School, South Yorkshire

Thanks for a great afternoon! I loved meeting you all, chatting and answering your questions. Keep on reading!


Book Signing - 23rd February 2011

Waterstones, 26 The Arcade, Meadowhall, Sheffield. 23rd February.

Thanks to all who visited me at my book signing, especially those who bought copies of my books! I enjoyed seeing and chatting to you all.


June 2010

In June 2010 I was a guest author for Rotherham Children's Literature Festival. I met with fifteen pupils aged between eleven and thirteen in Swinton Library. They had all read 'Family Secrets' and the hour passed extremely quickly due to their enthusiastic questions and feedback. This was my first official engagement as an author and I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks to the young people attending. They all completed comment cards with their views on 'Family Secrets' and all were very positive. A number of them are quoted on this site. Take a look!


Swinton Community School - March 15 World Book Day

With great pleasure I visited Swinton School again this year to meet with the Accelerated Reading award winners. As I have come to expect the pupils were eager and very interested in sharing their favourite books, discussing mine and the business of writing, illustrating and publishing. There were several who were keen to write or illustrate their own books and I hope they succeed in their endevours.