Some things are just meant to happen. This is one of those things.
A year ago I sat next to a young girl on a train from London to Devon. I was editing the final draft of Knitbone Pepper and she was reading her holiday book, her mum sitting across the aisle. We got chatting about animals and holidays and I explained that I was an author. She said that she really liked books and asked me if I might be able to come to her school. I said that I hoped so, although I lived very far away and i didn’t know if I would be coming to London. Then I got off the train at Tiverton and waved goodbye.
Eight months later an email pinged into my inbox:
“I don’t know if you remember me but I am the young girl with very red hair who sat next to you on the train going to Exeter a few months ago…. My name is Lily and we talked about your new book and lots of other things….You did say you might be able to come to my school to talk about it too but I don’t know how to arrange this. If you are able to do this it would be really great.”
How could I resist?! It was a very bold and clever thing to do. Luckily I already had plans to visit a couple London schools, but I had one spare morning, just before I was due to head off to sign books at Tales On Moon Lane in Herne Hill. It clearly had Lily’s name on it.
So I picked up the phone, spoke to both Lily’s school and Usborne. Everybody thought it was a great idea and before you could say ‘Paddington Station’ it was all booked!