Hi to everyone at Oakwood Park School out in Maidstone, where I visited yesterday for my first school event of the year.
I visited 103 schools last year.
This year I've got about 35 lined up, and just no time to fit in any more. Who knows how many there'll be in 2009? Schools have already started booking me in, which is great, but I'm writing two books a year now, so that has to be the main focus.
I find it very hard to turn a school down, or tell them that I can't visit for at least a year. Teachers and librarians work so hard to support my books, and I know that a visit from me could have a great impact not just on my sales, but on reading and writing in the school - especially if there's already an enthusiasm for the Jimmy Coates series among the students.
But I'm afraid that's the way it has to be. Otherwise there'd be no Jimmy Coates books for anybody to read. And we wouldn't want that, would we?
Anyway, Oakwood Park was a lot of fun. I met Year 8, and learned all about the threat of terrorist guinea pigs setting off a tsunami by poisoning all the chocolate milk in the world. Oh, and apparently the guinea pigs are also good at stealing girlfriends and making boys pregnant. Nightmare.