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Friday, 01 February 2013
Successful children’s author Joe Craig came in to Bolton School to talk to pupils in both the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions about life as a writer.
Joe spoke to the Year 7 girls and boys about how he became a writer and the process he goes through to write his books. He explained how he hadn’t always wanted to be a writer, instead training as a musician and working as a songwriter, which came with a stressful lifestyle. He was inspired to change career after reading a Harry Potter book given to him by his mum with the order to relax and read a book!
Joe is best known for the Jimmy Coates series of books, described in several reviews as 'The Bourne Identity for kids'. He explained to the pupils how to turn an idea for a story into an actual book and gave them some valuable tips on becoming an author including what the vital components for a story are and even how to plan a story in ten minutes.
At the end of each talk Joe’s books were available to buy and he even signed them for the pupils.
Joe’s first novel, a thriller for children and young adults, ‘Jimmy Coates: Killer’ was published in March 2005, and was one of the biggest selling children's book debuts of the year in the UK. Shortly after the UK publication, his first book was released in the United States under the title ‘Jimmy Coates: Assassin’ It was a finalist for the 2006 Manchester Book Award, and won the Bolton Children's Book Award 2006. Since then the books have grown a huge following around the world, especially among fans of action thrillers. So far, there are 6 books in the series.
Joe is consistently at the forefront of use of new media by children's writers. In 2005 he was one of the first authors to use Facebook to build a fanbase and enhance fans' experience of his writing, using character profiles as well as his personal pages to create an online world that reflected that of his books. He was also one of the first children's writers to utilise Twitter as a means of communicating with fans and creating new stories. He continues to use both, as well as experimenting with new kinds of author videos and book trailers on video sites, such as youtube.
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