Early in May, I was lucky enough to be invited to help co-curate an online book festival, the #HeyKidsBookFest with @ST3AMCo, whose founder, Nick, I had met when he visited our school on World Book Day earlier this year.
I agreed, and though mixed processes, including: asking nicely, begging, Twitter approaches and emails, was able to 'cobble' together a dream line-up for the event.
Headlining (apologies and no disrespect to the others) was an author I've long held dear, both as a reader and as a teacher who's used this author's Alex Rider books as a 'hook' to catch many a reluctant reader: Anthony Horowitz.
Anthony had seen and liked the picture of me and my son reading some of his work, and having a Bond-themed dinner one evening, and a few Twitter messages later, he agreed to take part - mission accomplished!
It was a great conversation - watch it (and others) via the link below - covering a range of topics from writing during lockdown to favourite gadgets and Bonds, with views on literacy in schools and prisons thrown in along the way. He also read an extract from his new book: 'Nightshade', and talked about his Bond and Sherlock influences and writings.
Anthony was an absolute gentleman: incredibly generous with his time and patience, and if he's reading this, thank you again!
Also part of the day were: Pie Corbett, Ros Wilson, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Tom Palmer, Joshua Seigal and Grandad Wheels, as well as discussions about reading culture in schools, creativity, and book recommendations from myself and other teachers.
Watch it back here:
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!