Activities and Teaching Resources for Nicki Thornton

Do you want to use The Last Chance Hotel and The Bad Luck Lighthouse as a teaching resource in your classroom? Here's a downloadable PDF with some notes and ideas for classroom activities and writing exercises.

It's completely amazing to discover schools using your book to study. So do let me know if you are. Lots of schools have shared really great ideas, from creating newspaper front pages about a murder, to discussions about injustice and exclusion. I love hearing from schools!

Also, I'm available to come and do an event at your school - and I've prepared a crib sheet so you get the most out of a visit (and what to expect). Much more about this on my events page.

For my second book, The Bad Luck Lighthouse, I went on a blog tour and got asked questions on everything from writing tips to how I get my ideas. You can see where I went and what I said here.

And here's what I said recently when a book group got in touch to ask me some questions:

1) how did you come up with the story line?
I ran my own bookshop for ten years and one of my favourite things was talking to children about the books they were reading and enjoying. Mysteries and magic came up ever so often (and are my favourite genres too!). But there were very few stories that combined the two. I started thinking about why this was and how you might go about writing a murder mystery set in a magical world (which is not actually very easy and took rather a lot of planning) . .  . and that's how it all started.

2) what influenced the story? 

The story was very much influenced by trying to include all those things I really love about murder mysteries - an isolated setting with everyone looking over their shoulder and knowing one of them is a murderer, an eccentric detective, a locked room mystery, clues and red herrings to spot, twists and turns . . . all mixed in with a few people who have the ability to do magic. Getting it all in was a challenge.

3) who is your favourite character and why?

I love all the characters and they all have an important part to play in the story. I love how Seth is caught wide-eyed in the middle off everything, trying to stay one step ahead, but actually always being one step behind. I had great fun writing Tiffany and wanted the reader to feel dread every time she arrives in a scene. Pewter's dialogue was fun because he almost always answers a different question to the one that is being asked. And Nightshade adds extra fluffiness. 

4) Would you consider a sequel to TLCH? 
I have definite plans to write another adventure for Seth. Watch out for news soon.

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