“The boys were enthralled with the creative process shown in Mr Darkin’s time lapse video showing an author’s work from thought to print.
As a writer and animator, I have a full programme of talks and workshops in schools, and other venues, and in the past, children have gone away enthused and inspired to take on their own writing, drawing and video projects.
At 5000 words, the illustrated “Act Normal” chapter books are just the right length for younger or more reluctant readers, but the stories also have the depth of ideas to challenge more confident readers.
Books in the series cover DNA, global warming, magnetism and why adults spend too much time playing on their mobile phones… And the books’ strong female and male lead characters, Jenny and Adam tell enthralling and giggle-inducing stories that are fun, educational and inspiring for girls and boys alike.
I can read from, and talk about the series, and children always enjoy getting involved with the characters and stories, and hearing about how the books come about.
I can also show some of my animation work for “Magic Hands” on Cbeebies and talk about how an animated TV show comes about.
A lot of my writing is about science and technology and the way they change our lives, and in addition to my fiction work, I’ve written for many years for newspapers and magazines about computer related subjects. This means I’m well placed to talk to pupils about the advantages and problems of writing and reading in the Internet age.
My experience in a wide range of writing (fiction, factual, prose and scriptwriting) means I can talk about how writing works for ‘a range of different contexts, purposes and audiences’.
In addition, my animation work in creating everything from special effects in films and TV to cartoon-style animations is usually of great interest to pupils, and they’re keen to understand how animations and special effects are created as well as how they fit into storytelling.
As a freelance animator, I get asked to work on a lot of unusual projects. From creating alien spaceships for a feature film to animating a series of poems for Cbebbies, to making logos for videogames. I’ve even had to resurrect Morecambe and Wise for a live performance on Children In Need, and bring back prehistoric animals for museum displays.
I'm the writer of the Act Normal series of chapter books for young readers. I've also written two novels for young people, and I'm currently working on more. I've written a range of other books too, as well as scripts for TV, radio and theatre. As an illustrator and animator, I've built spaceships for movies, resurrected the dinosaurs, and animated a series of children's poetry for CBeebies on the BBC. I’d be delighted to answer any questions you’ve got or come along to your school or event to talk about my work. Just get in touch via the contacts page.