Thursday, 25 January 2018

Pineapple Inspiration at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Museums are great places for inspiration and for research, and I'm lucky to have some great ones in my home town of Cambridge. One of my favourites is the Fitzwilliam Museum. Two regal stone lions guard the building. There is a story that they come alive at midnight and drink from 'Hobson's conduit' - the gulley that runs along the edge of the street nearby. This story was the seed of the idea that became The Mystery of the Midnight Ghost. You can see the two lions on the front cover, posing on the steps of Pendragon Manor.

Another of my stories was inspired by an object in the Fitzwilliam Museum. High over a doorway there hangs a rather dark portrait by Theodorus Netscher. It's not a portrait of a king or a queen or a girl in a pearl earring or a boy with a dog. This is a prize pineapple - perhaps the first one ever grown in England.

School Visit News


Thank you to all the lovely schools that made me so welcome last term.

October was a month of secondary schools, and got off to a great start with a return visit to fantastic Litcham School in Norfolk. Thank you to superstar librarian, Cathy Berry, for organising it all and looking after me as always. I'm honoured to be Litcham's Author in Residence for a second year - thanks to the generous support of Swaffham Rotary Club.  We have lots of exciting things planned for 2018.Watch this space!

Lots of students squeezed into the lovely library at Dereham Neatherd High School
Not far away in Norfolk, I made my first visit to Dereham Neatherd High School. It was a lovely action-packed day with an author talk, book signing and workshops with enthusiastic, creative Y7, 8 and 9 students. Special thanks to fantastic librarian, Lorraine Gill for making everything run like clockwork.  I could tell your library is the heart of the school!