|Be a writer, see the world: sunrise from the windows of the|
If you haven't seen the Phoenix yet, track down a copy: it's great. You can subscribe via the website or pick up individual copies from Waitrose supermarkets. My son Sam, who's never been a keen reader, loves it: it's always an exciting moment when the new edition arrives, and Sam's been inspired to write and draw his own comics. I'm not sure quite when Jinks and O'Hare... will be appearing, but I'll let you know as soon as I do.
After that, I headed down to Guildford, where Mrs Odell, the lovely librarian at Lanesborough School, has been trying to get me to a visit for four years, apparently. (I'm not really that hard to get, it's just that none of her requests had actually reached me until late last year.) In fact, Mrs Odell has been waiting so long that she's retired and handed over to a new lovely librarian, Mrs Loveridge, but they were both there to look after me on Wednesday.
|My PowerPoint slideshow features Sam's bedroom floor farm|
as an example of world-building...
|One of the Lanesborough pupils, Tom, did this great drawing|
of a Hoverhog from Larklight.
|Smokestacks as well as masts - Jack Aubrey would not approve.|
It was icy cold, so I didn't hang around for too long at the harbourside but scurried as fast as I could to The Retreat , a great B&B in Southsea. Thursday started with a very good cooked breakfast courtesy of Sian and Mark, the Retreat's owners, and then they pointed me in the general direction of Portsmouth Grammar School. Pupils there have been doing a week-long project on Myths and Legends, and Colin Telford from Hayling Island Bookshop, who was helping to organise it, had suggested that I might like to come in and talk about my King Arthur novel, Here Lies Arthur.
|The banner that greeted me at PGS. Airship images at the bottom |
are by Ian McQue, I believe.
Percy F Westerman, the author of hundreds of adventure stories, who enjoyed huge popularity with schoolboys from 1901 until well into the 1950s. The school's Memorial Library has a couple of big, glass-fronted book-cases full of Percy F Westerman novels; handsome hardbacks with titles like Standish Gets His Man, To The Fore With The Tanks, A Dreadnought of the Air and A Lad of Grit. I was particularly taken with The Flying Submarine, which looks like an idea worth pinching...
Many thanks to Mrs Bell and her colleagues for showing me around, and letting me take these photos.
Now I'm home, and guess what - it's snowing. It may be quite a while before I can get off the moor, so I shall have to while away the time by doing some writing...
|Another morning on the road, this time the breakfast room at |