Over the past three weeks, I've had the opportunity to visit four different primary schools in the region to help out as part of their Book Week celebrations. I spoke about what it's like to be an author and gave Bernard Beagle some time in the spotlight.
A special thank you must go out to all the schools for hosting me. It was great to see all the kids enjoying books and the writing process.
TUESDAY 22nd AUGUST - STIRLING NORTH
My 2017 Book Week Tour began at Stirling North Primary School, one of my regular TRT destinations. The day kicked off with a rousing Book Week parade. My favourite costume was Grug - one kid walked around under a dome covered with brown and yellow streamers. After the parade, I visited five different classes to present my presentation called 'Daniel Murphy Kicks Off', all about what it's like to be a writer.
WEDNESDAY 23rd AUGUST - MELROSE
On a brilliant winter morning I hit the road in my trusty Impreza to drive to Melrose, the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges.
At Melrose Primary School, I spoke to five primary and eight junior primary students about writing, being a writer and reading books. It was a nice little school. After recess, the kids had a chance to flip through my books and ask some questions. In the junior primary class, I had a look at a reception student's story. There may well be a future best-selling author right there!
WEDNESDAY 30th AUGUST - GLADSTONE
The following week, I travelled to Gladstone, a one-and-a-half hour journey south of Port Augusta. At Gladstone Primary School, I faced my largest group yet - about 60 students, all squeezed into the library. Despite some minor technical difficulties, the presentation was a huge success!
I took the back streets to get home, a pleasant drive from Gladstone to Laura, Laura to Stone Hut and on to Wirrabara, where I treated myself to a pasty and a Legend at Old Ev's Wirrabara Bakehouse for lunch.
I can't remember visiting Wirrabara before. It seemed like a nice town, with old-school charm.
Onwards from Wirrabara. After passing through Murray Town, Mount Remarkable loomed in the distance as I closed in on Melrose once again, this time from the south. It was a beautiful day and the countryside was stunning. From Melrose to Wilmington, then home to Port Augusta.
TUESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER - WILMINGTON
My tour came to an end on Tuesday 5 September with my last visit, this time to Wilmington Primary School. With lots of oohs and aahs, and loads of laughs, this was my best presentation yet, a great way to finish Book Week celebrations for 2017.
Cody puts his soccer ball on the ground and passes it to me. 'Bet you can't score from here.'
Bernard Beagle Kicks Off, page 160
At the end of Bernard Beagle Kicks Off, Bernard tries to kick the ball into the goals from just in front of the halfway line, after the game against the Jets has finished.
When I was in year 8, I refereed Reynella East Primary School's senior home games on this very field. These matches, and our lunch-time soccer games throughout high school, provided the inspiration for some of the scenes in the book.
On Sunday 20 August, I set up at the Port Augusta Undercover Market. The day started with promise but cold and rainy weather must have kept people at home.
One market-goer approached my table and asked if I had a new book out! Her son had finished reading Bernard Beagle Kicks Off and "loved it". Let's just say number two is coming soon ...
By the way ... I sold the iron!
You know when the corner of your novel's pages get bent or torn - Blog Ears.