Virtual Author Visits

“It was BRILLIANT!!! Perfectly paced and you smashed the tech.”

E Bauer, Head of English, Downs Preparatory School, October 202

“I have never seen them so engrossed and quiet.”

Mrs Riley, Broadfield Primary Academy,  Crawley
My Writing Hut in Devon

Welcome, young readers and writers, to the room where Knitbone Pepper and Picklewitch and Jack get up to their adventures. The stove’s alight, the kettle’s on and it’s virtually huge inside. Come on in! Email me at toboggan@btinternet.com to book.

Find Out:

Where I get my ideas from

About my stories

How books travel from the imagination to the bookshelf

My favourite book as a child

Nature facts

What’s it really like being a children’s author?

Event Options

Author presentation and reading: 30 mins £60

A general session about me, my stories and what it’s like to be an author. It’s full of interesting pictures, peculiar pets, funny tales, interesting objects and readings to grab the young imagination.

A guaranteed fidget-free zone!

Why not add a workshop?

Author Presentation + Writing Workshop 45 mins £90

Currently available workshops:

Knitbone Pepper and the Beloved Imaginarium

Great stories begin with interesting characters. In this thought-provoking and fun Knitbone Pepper inspired workshop, I teach children how to create their own colourful animal ghost character. This exercise involves History, Maths, Art, humour and a heap of imagination! Teachers will be provided with a template worksheet to use in the classroom, as springboard for future creative writing projects.

Roll up to the The Fizzle Fossil Shop! *BRAND NEW PICKLEWITCH & JACK WORKSHOP TO ACCOMPANY THE SEA WIZARD’S SECRET OUT 4/3/21*


Jack is a very knowledgeable fossil fan, insisting on the use of correct terminology. However Picklewitch (typically) dismisses his ‘fizzles’ as funny old pebbles.

Long ago, Lyme Regis locals sold fossils on the beach to tourists, marketing their wares variously as stone thunderbolts, dragon eggs, as ‘snakestones’ and ‘verteberries’. This seaside trade in curios is where the Mary Anning ‘She Sells Seashells‘ song is rumoured to have originated, although she knew what she was talking about of course!

Using descriptive language (thinking about colour, texture and shape) can the children pretend to be a seashore seller and help me come up with imaginary names for the genuine fossils I have with me on the day? Is it a sea monster’s fang? A mermaid’s whistle? Then we will talk what they really are. Science, History and creative writing, all in one workshop. There are additional downloadable sheets for the children to complete after the event.

Got questions? Why not add on a Q&A session?
15mins £30

Would your students like to know how I became an author? Or what it’s like being edited? Maybe they would like to know if my characters are based on real people? Was I particularly clever at school? Do I ever run out of ideas? Or maybe you have budding authors keen to join me on the bookshelf. Whatever their questions, I shall do my best to answer them.

Or would you simply like to book the whole package?

Author Presentation + Beloved Imaginarium or Fizzle Fossil shop + Q&A 60 mins £120
Email toboggan@btinternet.com to book

We had a 100% watch until the end turnout on your session, it was truly fantastic.

Sara Bullimore, Artistic Director of Newark Book Festival July 2020

On Knitbone Pepper: “A perfect start for any newly independent reader.”

Mathew Tobin, Lecturer in Primary English & Children’s Lit

On Picklewitch & Jack: “Very funny, lots of good PHSE messages about friendship and acceptance, but the absolute best thing about it is that it’s a longer chapter novel that is PERFECT for Yr 3 or a strong Year 2.” 

Ashley Booth, Teacher. Reading Lead.

Claire did an excellent virtual session with two separate classes. She spent time beforehand discussing our expectations so when the day arrived she was prepared, professional and above all great fun. The children were so excited to talk to a “real” author which engendered lots of high quality discussion both before and after. Even the reluctant readers LOVE Knitbone and couldn’t wait to start writing in response!

Vicky Holness, International School of Verona, Italy March 2020