On 9th March courtesy of Urmston Bookshop we welcomed multi-award-winning author Kim Slater to speak to our Lower School students. We were lucky to be one of only 2 schools that Kim selected to visit this week, ahead of the publication of her next novel A Seven Letter Word, and to enjoy an advance preview as it is not officially released for another 2 weeks.
Kim was an entertaining speaker who discussed her debut novel Smart – heralded by the Guardian as `a remarkable first novel` – and which has now been nominated for 20 UK book awards. Smart is an extremely popular title in our own Library and huge fan Kieran Earl 8S was keen to ask Kim about the background to the book and the writing process. Like Joseph Delaney who visited us last month, Kim spent years writing and trying to get published but success finally came when she embarked on a creative writing degree at the age of 40. In fact, Smart started life as a short-story assignment during Kim’s degree and, with determination on Kim’s part, it evolved into a hugely successful novel. Yet more inspiration for our students to continue with their own creative writing and to record their reflections in their Reading Journals!
Kim then discussed her latest book A Seven Letter Word which sees teenager Finlay’s already troubled life – his mum is missing, he has a stutter and he is bullied at school – thrown into yet more disarray when a mysterious online scrabble friend sends sinister messages. This prompted an enthusiastic discussion between Kim and the audience around the key themes addressed in A Seven Letter Word, namely the ups and downs of 21st century teenage life, friendship issues and the challenges of navigating online activity.
A huge number of us were keen to meet Kim after the event and to get her books signed and personalised, and the next day many of the students reported that they had spent the evening reading A Seven Letter Word … a fitting testimony to Kim’s engaging presentation.
Smart and A Seven Letter Word are both available in the Reading Room and for more information on Kim Slater and her books visit www.kimslater.com