Hurstpierpoint, the Kids' Lit Quiz and the paintings of Ramsay Gibb

The trouble with travelling around the country doing school visits and book events is that, while it gives me much more interesting material to blog about that just sitting at home would, it doesn't leave me much time to actually do so...

On the train again...

Last week I went to Hurstpierpoint in East Sussex to talk to some of the pupils of Hurstpierpoint College Prep School.  The year seven pupils there study Mortal Engines in English classes,  and while the present year 7s don't get to encounter my deathless prose until next term they had some interesting questions to ask about the book and how I cam to write it.  Their teacher, Mrs Gordon-Stewart, showed me some of the work that previous years have done, which included writing short diaries from the point of view of Mortal Engines characters.  Here's one by 'Hester Shaw', with some interesting notes-to-self on the front cover ('Kill Valentine') etc.

On my way to Hurstpierpoint I stopped off in London to buy a copy of the new comics anthology Nelson (highly recommended!) and to see the latest exhibition by the Scottish landscape painter Ramsay Gibb at the Francis Kyle gallery in Maddox Street.  I used to know Ramsay when I lived in Brighton.  He had been through art college there with some friends of mine, and was an excellent illustrator.  It's been a huge pleasure to watch his work evolve, and he goes from strength to strength.  The current show, A First Avowed Intent, focuses on the old pilgrimage sites and paths of the British Isles, and is on for another week.  Catch it if you can.

Moonlight, Iona beach, by Ramsay Gibb

My second adventure last week was in Wadebridge, Cornwall for the South West regional heat of the excellent Kids' Lit Quiz.  Teams from schools all over the region were competing for a chance to go forward to the national finals, and then, hopefully, to the world finals in New Zealand.  It was great to meet founder and quizmaster Wayne Mills, and to see so many keen readers.  The final result was extremely close, but team one from Penrice School were victorious, and will be heading to the UK final in Warwick on 2nd December.  Go, Penrice!

Wayne Mills in Quizzing Hat, lower right.

Me signing books and autographs after the Quiz.