I love meeting readers

Getting to meet readers and travel for work is one of my favourite things about being an author. I love to talk about reading, writing - and my favourite stories, which are MYSTERY stories.
Talking all things children's crime fiction. On a panel with some of the best names in mystery writing - Anne Coates, Sharna Jackson and Sarah Todd Taylor
For details of future and past events please look hereIf you’re an events organiser and would be interested in inviting me to speak at your festival or bookshop or school, for booking and enquiries, please contact me here. Hope to see you on the road soon!

I also love to visit schools
I love enthusing children about the joys of reading - and to try books and authors they may not have considered before.

'The pupils thoroughly enjoyed your visit. With the very interactive way you transmitted your passion, the children learned so much and were very engaged - almost too much at times you might say!

I was amazed to see some of the pupils (the ones who usually reject anything about books) asking such pertinent questions. 
The pupils who have read your book (some in just one night) would like the sequel very quickly!'

Beatrice Mallett, Secondary School Librarian, Europa School UK

I love talking to children about reading – and particularly about mystery stories, and how I went about inventing the mystery and magic in my novel The Last Chance Hotel.

I love reading and love inspiring others to read. I was a bookseller for more than ten years, so my events are designed to inspire all students, whether they are passionate about books or reluctant readers.

My events aim to be fun, they will get students thinking about why reading and writing are fun and rewarding and how being imaginative, having ideas can lead to amazing things.

Talking about detective fiction - School assembly presentation
(45 mins - 1 hour, suitable for years 3-7)

My debut noverl The Last Chance Hotel is a murder mystery detective story set in a magical world.

Join me on a journey through detective fiction – historical fiction that children may or may not have heard of. Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes – to people they may not think of as detective fiction writers like Derek Landy and JK Rowling.

My love of detective fiction is what led to me writing my story and there are lots of things you need to think about when starting to write a mystery story.

The interactive presentation encourages children to think about what elements you need for detective fiction – and why detective fiction might be different to other stories (and more difficult to write!).

And how having a magical element and the magical police presents more challenges as a writer, but builds on the same foundations and brings in all of those same things that make crime fiction so great and so popular.

I will tell the audience about my own inspirations for writing and how ten years as a bookseller gave me the confidence to pursue my own dreams of becoming a writer and how I won my publishing deal in an international competition. It can happen to anyone!

And I take them behind the scenes to life in the book trade – first as a bookseller and now as an author, it all happens because of a love of books and stories.

I am also happy to deliver top tips for reluctant readers and help students to think how they might choose the right books for them.

‘Your talk was so perfectly pitched and really inspiring.  I have had so much lovely feedback from staff and children alike.  Please come and visit us when your book is published, Nicki – the girls are waiting  eagerly for that day…’

Anike Chuard, Head of English, The Manor Preparatory School
'Creating a magical device' - Workshop
(45 mins, suitable for years 3-7)

This workshop, designed for up to thirty students, explores what we mean by magical science. Students are encouraged to think of magical devices they may have come across in stories that they have read.

Then to think up their own. What might it look like, or be disguised as. What might it feel or smell like. Would it be used for good or bad?

Students will have the chance to put this new object to the test by writing a dramatic scene featuring their magical scientific device being used.

Here’s how to make sure children get the very best literacy boost from a visit to your school:

For booking and enquiries, please contact me here.

Running brilliant events that inspire children to read - some ideas and guidelines here

The School Library Association (SLA) has a fab guide for teachers and school librarians on planning a brilliant school event. It’s packed with ideas – and is a great place to start in terms of planning, budgeting for and getting whole school support for an event: https://www.sla.org.uk/book-event-planning-tips.php

The Society of Authors has PDF guidelines on how much book events cost, the benefits you can expect from having an author visit your school, and how you can get the most out of an event: http://www.societyofauthors.org/SOA/MediaLibrary/SOAWebsite/Guides/A-Guide-for-Schools-Organising-an-Author-Visit.pdf

Author Andy Seed has put together a brilliant digest of some of the best ways schools have found to fund school visits from authors. Read all the tips here.

Finally, I've put together some teaching resources and notes to help you prep for an event (or just use my books to boost literacy) and there is also a downloadable PDF of how to get the most out of an event with me.

I hope I can come and talk to you soon :-)

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