A special guest has graced computer screens this week as children from a number of White Woods PAT schools had the privilege of meeting author, Darren Shan. A long-time favourite among Year 6 pupils at Kilnhurst Primary School, Shan’s novel, Cirque Du Freak: Living Nightmare inspired students to tweet the author directly to share their eagerness to meet him and to their delight, he responded offering to arrange a virtual visit.
Ultimately, the invitation was extended to all schools within the trust with 4 taking full advantage of the opportunity. The call, lasting 45 minutes, was attended by over 300 pupils and members of staff from Dinnington Community Primary School; Swinton Queen Primary School; Whiston Junior and Infant School; Wickersley Northfield Primary School; and Kilnhurst Primary School, during which time Shan shared extracts from his novels and provided an insight into his experiences as an author.
In the session, Shan discussed the process of taking a novel from first draft to publication over the course of a number of years. He described his passion for writing at a young age and how he transformed a favoured subject into a career beginning at only 17 years old, hopefully inspiring a couple of our own budding writers to do the same. Pupils were told how Shan takes inspiration from his own life into his writing, naming characters, particularly villains, after people he knows and adding in special skills inspired by his nephews.
It was a brilliant session and a wonderful opportunity for pupils and staff alike to catch a glimpse into the world of a published author. We thank Mr Shan for taking the time to meet with us and offering this unmissable experience!
Mrs Hampshire, Kilnhurst Primary School