By Joanna Shaw
Waterstones in Deansgate Manchester hosted a family Sunday Storytime as part of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival. The event included a brightly decorated story corner, mini-games to entertain the children, including pin the tail on Peter Rabbit and a treasure hunt.
Upstairs, The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies also hosted a Q&A with bestselling Young Adult authors Danny Weston (pen name Philip Caveney), author of The Piper that tells the story of two children haunted by ghostly music in a remote farmhouse during Word War Two.
Sally Green, author of the highly successful Half Bad trilogy, was also present, Half Bad follows Nathan, a half white, half black witch, who has been kept in a cage since he was fourteen. Half Bad also won a Guinness World Record in 2014 for the most translated book by a debut author (pre-publication) as it was translated into a staggering 45 languages.
When asked what her writing influences were, Sally Green said that Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte was one of the influences upon her character Nathan in Half Bad, “I wanted to establish a sense of place within the book, there were a multiple of influences to the locations in Half Bad, some of them including Wales and Switzerland. Nathan is also very connected to the earth, and becomes a hero because he is forced to be in the plot.”
Danny Weston was also very encouraging to budding young writers, informing them of the importance of creative writing workshops, “creative workshops are good practice for learning the craft of writing, having someone who can give you creative feedback helps you to establish the kind of writer you want to be and the stories you want to create.”