Monday, 2 April 2012

We take The Boy to school

Do you remember the photographer from the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald who nobbled me at Words by the Water at the beginning of March? An article and his photo of us there appeared in the paper on March 24th. It covers a lot of ground with admirable clarity.

I was in London when the paper came out. I went down there to attend a seminar at the Society of Authors about making author visits to schools. This gave me some very good ideas, but also pointed out some of the pitfalls. The most common questions students ask visiting authors seem to be "What's your favourite book?", "How much do you earn?" and ... "What colour is your underwear?" or some such personal probe designed to disconcert.

On Thursday I paid my first visit to a school as the author of a novel. Connie from Trifolium was with me and has also mentioned the visit on her Trifolium blog. I gave some historical background to The Boy with Two Heads, including locations, religion and the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece, and I read some short passages. 

In the first few pages of the story, one of the main characters is called Bernie (from Bernadette), and one of the teachers accompanying the school visit to Athens is called Mr Green. The class teacher at the Solway College who had organised the visit is called Bernie Green!

That coincidence caused a laugh or two, as did the fact that I had not noticed the three-letter English word in the middle of this Ancient Greek inscription. But my pictures of vase paintings and statues of naked athletes caused even more giggles (see Connie's blog). The subject of underwear, mine or anyone else's, did not arise, thank goodness.

Attic red-figure kylix, 520BC, by Pheidipos,
now in the British Museum
I hope the students learned as much as I did from the visit. Thank you, Mr Green and your colleagues, for your warm welcome and support.

No comments:

Post a Comment