12 November 2019
We were delighted to welcome children’s author Tom Palmer into school on Tuesday 12th November 2019. Tom gave our pupils in year 7 a fascinating insight into his life and work as an author. He is the author of fifty books featuring spies, history, the RAF, ghosts, detectives, war, football and rugby. He has written three series of books for Puffin books, Football Academy, Foul Play and The Squad and he is the author of the Roy of the Rovers fiction series. He has also written a range of books focussing on historical fiction, including the Wings series focussing on pilots in the RAF. He is currently working on a book about children who survive the Holocaust and relocate to England.
He began the sessions taking questions from pupils. Our pupils were eager to find out more about Tom’s life as an author, asking intelligent and thoughtful questions. They asked how often he writes, Tom explained that he writes for fifteen to twenty hours a week, combining his life as an author with school visits. One pupil asked how long it takes to write and research a book. Tom talked about how it varies depending on what type of book he is writing. He also spoke about how he enjoys the meticulous research he undertakes when writing; reading books, interviewing people, for example he has recently interviewed people who survived the Holocaust and visiting settings; he is soon to travel to the Czech Republic to find out more about the concentration camps, as part of the research for his next book.
It was interesting to find out that Tom disliked reading when he was younger and he struggled with writing. When he was seventeen years old, his mum encouraged him to read sports reports and football magazines and it was from there that Tom discovered his passion for reading. The more he read, the better he became at writing. One pupil asked ‘what makes a good writer?’ Tom outlined that that it helps if you write about the things you love, as your passion for the topic comes through in your writing. He also talked about the importance of editing, saying that the more you write, the more you find your own voice but you need to take time to edit your work. He added that reading for pleasure really helps. He also said that authors need to have self-belief; it took him a year to write his first book as he had moments of self-doubt.
Pupils then had an opportunity to play a fun football game. Tom asked pupils questions based on things that they can read; newspaper stories, magazine articles, book and author related questions. If they got the question correct, they had the opportunity to take a penalty shoot-out. The winner received a trophy!
The sessions were fun, lively and engaging. We really enjoyed welcoming Tom Palmer to Archbishop Temple School, we hope his visit has inspired our pupils to keep reading and writing for pleasure.
Tom Palmer’s books are for sale in our school library for the rest of this week. If your son/daughter would like a book, they need to reserve it in the library. They are £6.06 each, payable on Scopay. Tom Palmer has kindly said for each book sold he will sign a bookplate, addressed to the child, to go in the book purchased.