Author's Visit a Spooktacular Success!

Gina Murphy / Categories: News

Author's Visit a Spooktacular Success!

Children's author Joseph Delaney lifted the lid on the world of his bestselling 'Spooks' series when he visited last week.

Accompanied by his son Stephen, Mr Delaney Snr gave a presentation that revealed to the school's primary and secondary students the source of his inspiration for the books, which tell the tale of hero Tom Ward and his training to become a Spook, battling the forces of darkness and in particular Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the county.

The inspiration behind the ‘Seventh Son’ film starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, Joseph explained how the Spooks series also contained references to his own childhood, which had helped him to create a mythical version of his home county of Lancashire, based on real people and places. 

The visit was such a success it caused a surge in demand for the 'Spooks' books, with a waiting list in the library for the first book in the series, 'The Spook's Apprentice.' 

Our Learning Resource Centre Manager, Miss Daly, commented:

"Mr Delaney's visit definitely had a positive impact and it was wonderful to see and hear the excitement around school as those students taking part came away with new insight into the life of an author. Discovering that Joseph lives locally was also an incredibly powerful message for those wanting to pursue a career in writing. It made them aware that it is an achievable aspiration."

As Joseph engaged with students in the school's main hall, his son Stephen helped spark the imagination of budding writers from Years 7 and 8 in the performing acts centre.  In the guise of ‘Spook Johnson’, complete with cloak and staff, Stephen took students through the world of 'The Spooks Apprentice' and allowed them to develop an extended narrative based on a particularly thrilling passage from the book.

Stephen, who began delivering his first ‘Spooks Workshops’ in 2011, formed the company ‘Spook Teaching’ in 2013 with the primary aim of ‘bringing literacy to life’ through a combination of drama and creative writing, using his dad’s books as a foundation and inspiration for the content of the workshops.

The visit was certainly a winner with the students. Commented Year 7 student Lyba Razzaq: "It’s good to invite authors like Joseph Delaney into school because some people may want to start reading as a result. I haven’t read the Spooks stories, but I have reserved 'The Spooks Apprentice' from our School Library."

Added Year 7 student Livingston Pathmanathan: “It was inspiring and informed me a lot about how to improve my writing. It was also very engaging and Mr Delaney was a great speaker and taught me a lot”

Fellow Year 7 student Zain Zahid also said: "The workshop was really great. Stephen was enthusiastic and interacted with us all and Joseph was very passionate about his work."

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