I do, I really do. I love being away, too, but there's something so nice about getting back home, crashing down on the sofa, and knowing you don't have anything to do for a couple of weeks except play Silent Hill 5 and maybe do a bit of writing too. Heaven!
It's been a great few weeks, though, and I have visited loads of fantastic schools. I started off with the Loreto College in St Albans, which was a terrifying prospect because it's an all-girl school - and Furnace is very much a boy book! But they all seemed to enjoy the talk, even if some of them were a bit grossed out by the Wheezer (pictured above)! Thanks to all the staff and pupils for making me feel so welcome, especially Jan the librarian, and to those of you who came up afterwards to talk about your writing: good luck with it!
After St Albans came a mini-tour of Edinburgh and Motherwell. It's so wonderful when I get the chance to go up to Scotland, and I wish I could do it more often (and I wish I had time to visit all my relatives when I was up this time, but alas it was a whirlwind trip). The schools were all fantastic, and everybody was so enthusiastic. The first talk was in the Wester Hailes Education Centre, which was an amazing place because they had a leisure centre in the middle of their school, complete with a proper leisure pool! I had a super audience, and a great host in the form of Anne the librarian (who was the craziest librarian I have ever met, and I mean that in a nice way)!
Next up was Portobello School, which was a smaller group but no less exciting. It was a little unusual as the chairs were laid out in a circle, with me in the middle, which meant by half way through the talk I was feeling a little sea sick from spinning around. It was great fun, though, and thanks to Margaret for arranging the visit!
That afternoon was the Royal High, which was also wonderful although the school library was like a Furnace (I don't think it was a deliberate attempt to recreate the conditions of the book...). Combined with the fact that it was the last period before hometime, I think people were struggling to stay awake, but everybody stuck in there valiantly until the end and seemed to enjoy the talk. It was filmed, too, so I'll try and post a version on the site soon! After the talk I did an interview for Teen Titles, which was great - a big thanks to Max and Lucy (I think!) for asking the great questions! Once we'd finished Evelyn very kindly drove me back into Edinburgh, and gave me a tour of some of the sights, including Fettes College (which I thought was a palace!!!) and Morningside, which is where J. K. Rowling has a house. We cruised around for a bit but we didn't see her! After that all the tea I'd drunk that day caught up with me, so I had to cut the tour short and dash back to the hotel, but thanks so much Evelyn for showing me the sights of Edinburgh!
The following day I was in Motherwell. The first school was Caldervale High, which was fantastic because their teachers had read Snot out in class before I arrived. All the kids and staff were suitably grossed out by it, and there were loads of questions after the talk about why I came up with such a disgusting story! In the afternoon (after a lovely lunch in the staff room) I was whizzed over to Braidburst where I faced a much larger crowd in the school hall. Everyone was brill, especially the three boys who stayed behind to talk to me afterwards and have their photos taken! Thanks so much to all the staff and pupils in both schools for making it so much fun! And thanks too to Alison for driving me around Motherwell all day.
Anyway, that's a brief summary of my lightning tour of Scotland, it was super! But it is wonderful to be home. I should be starting a new book, but I might just have a quick go on Silent Hill first...
Posted by Gordy's Blog Monday, 23 March 2009