Learning to go Live

World Book Day with Learn Live UK

“Let’s go through and do a sound check,” the eight simple words which caused me to become a little hot under the collar. You see, I’d been on camera before, as part of video creation at my place of work, however this time it was LIVE.

When involved with digital media up until this point, I’d always needed several takes to get it right and I felt comfortable knowing that stopping and restarting was a clause that we could exercise whenever needed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have my own blooper reel containing all sorts of delirious laughter and expletives.

Only during a live broadcast, there was no such safety net.

Learn Live UK offer a digital education platform that can be streamed direct to the classroom, so students and teachers can tune in and have access to unique learning opportunities for free. There are a wide range of topics covered, from health to construction, and of course – reading and literacy, leading us to the reason I found myself in front of a camera lens on World Book Day 2020.

I’d made contact last year about working together, only certain circumstances meant that it wasn’t to be. So imagine my delight when Vicky, one of the many friendly and helpful members of the Learn Live team, called me to invite me down for a special World Book Day broadcast.

I was to be part of a triple bill, with my Meet the Author interview being aired at 1:30pm to viewers up and down the country.

And now, at 1:25pm going through the sound check and all the other behind the scenes requirements with Abby, I felt those familiar nerves begin to jangle, questioning myself with a big dose of imposter syndrome.

The team were so supportive though, guiding me through the structure, what would be happening at what stage, where to look and also, perhaps most significantly, the types of questions that would be asked, which instantly put me at ease.

At this stage, amidst channeling my inner Andi Peters, I also reminded myself of my dad’s age old advice spanning back to my early years, advice which I now offer to other people, if called upon, who may be faced with a daunting experience – just be yourself.

Then came the NASA-esque countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… blast off, and away we went. And what a fun, thrilling and enlightening 20 minutes or so it was!

I was first interviewed by the host, Jen, who took me through some really interesting questions ranging from my writing influence, through to how I got into my [other] career as a Youth Worker.

Following the short interview, I then did a live reading from my book, which just felt absolutely amazing, surreal even. I chose the first 3 pages of The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, as I believe it sets an intriguing context for what’s to come. The words “slow down” were buzzing around my head on repeat, but it seemed to go without hiccup.

After the reading came my favourite part of all, questions submitted via the live chat facility from viewers spanning from Darlington down to Dover. Young readers asking about tips for budding writers or full classes requesting a shout out, which happened to be the rock-star cherry, on top of this wonderful, unique experience, enabling me to add live interview broadcast to my ever growing CV in the world of writing.

Huge thank you to the team at Learn Live, what a super way to spend World Book Day 2020. I’m really looking forward to working together again in the future, perhaps when my upcoming release is unleashed upon the world: The Rise of The Chemist, the second book in The Granville Series.

Stay tuned for more updates coming shortly, including a cover reveal and a release date to be announced soon.

Ciao for now,

Nathan x

Dining with Authors (real ones)

Just a few of the amazing folk I met at LBOY 2019

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, being shortlisted for Lancashire Book of the Year 2019 with my debut novel, The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, was one of my proudest moments to date. A boy born and bred in little old Blackpool, self-publishing his first book to accomplish a speckle of a pipe dream, getting recognition beyond his wildest beliefs.

It opened doors to opportunities that ordinarily I would have struggled to find with a SatNav, never mind somebody handing me the key to take a look inside.

Not least, the night before the actual event itself.

I arrived at the Preston International Legacy Hotel at around 6:30pm on 4th July, having driven the 13 miles down the m55 straight after work – a day which had consisted of not one, but two pretty hefty presentations.

But here I was, I’d made it; checking into a fancy hotel, all expenses paid with a lovely room, dinner and not forgetting breakfast of course – this was a first time thing for me and I would love to say that I was bouncing with excitement. However, I was carrying something more than my overnight bag; a crippling dose of Tonsillitis!

Nightmare. Not only was I set to stand up in front of about 300 people tomorrow and talk about my book and myself as an author (at which point was still a very fluid concept!). Perhaps more pressing, I also had plans to dine with my fellow shortlisted authors at the hotel this very evening – what an opportunity, I croaked to myself, gargling with whatever codeine infused seltzer the chemist had given me.

I quickly freshened up and headed back down to the bar area to meet up with the rest of the LBOY gang. Ordering myself a medicinal beverage, I took a pew in the seating area and waited for my fellow authors to join me, unsure what to expect but feeling very much as though I didn’t belong in such prestigious company.

One by one, they arrived and absolutely blew me away with their humility, friendliness and conversation.

I went into this feeling inferior. I was the only self-published author. It was my very first novel. I wrote my book in the evenings, or before work, or on the bathroom floor whilst my pregnant wife was having contractions in the bath (I’ve never lived that one down, I’m sorry to my wife and mothers everywhere!). I never imagined in a million years that my book would take me here, with multiple award winning authors, who had sold millions of books between them, compared with my 372 at the time!

Yet within ten minutes, I felt like a peer, simply because I was treated as one.

We sat down to dinner and ordered our food. We chatted about books and writing, our families and politics, inspirations and challenges, plus plenty of funny stories. These guys were amazing, it’s over 6 months on and I still feel humbled by how well I was treated.

Two things stood out for me the most:

The first, was how interested my new found author friends were in my writing and my experiences. Asking genuine questions and making a real connection. Maybe you might be reading this thinking that is a given – that’s called humanity. But my experience and my inner critique tell me that many people listen so they can wait for their turn to speak – but not these guys.

The second was how helpful and forthcoming they were with advice, tips and encouragement for me to further develop my identity and productivity as an author. Not just during the meal, but ensuring I was comfortable throughout the whole of the following day’s event, taking time to recognise this was my debut in such an arena.

The award went to Sarah Crossan’s wonderful book Moonrise, and fully deserved it was. Although, I believe the award could have gone to any one of the authors on the shortlist and it would have been deserved. Despite not winning, I left feeling like I’d won the lottery. I’d spoken to an incredible group of young people (my voice remaining in tact), whose passion spurred me on with writing the second book in the Granville Series: The Rise of the Chemist (2020). I’d signed books, posed for photographs like some kind of rock star (crazy right?), met some wonderful teachers and librarians and of course, not forgetting, I’d spent the day with some amazingly inspirational authors (real ones).

Sitting on the panel at LBOY 2019

Thank you to Siobhan Curham. Taran Matharu, Paula Rawsthorne and Fiona Shaw for making a nervous guy feel at home. I hope we meet again in the near future!

Nathan 🙂

Depression: you wear it well

November 4th 2019:

As usual that morning I had a drawn out battle with myself. My mind was telling me to turn around as I walked into work; to run away. But my body, as well trained as it now was, chose to ignore those thoughts and whistled a nonsense tune, auto-piloted me through the door, punched in the codes and meandered through the corridors towards my office, smiling and chattering as I went. Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s off to work I go; the place where my insides were now riddled with self-destruction, but my external, cheery grin kept any concern or second thought at bay.

Today:

I am writing this blog for several reasons; awareness, self-reflection and to try and lead the way for others to feel ok about not being ok. When I say others, I am of course inclusive of everybody, but truthfully, my main target is men. Yes you. The bloke reading this who might have difficult days but is unsure why, or you feel terribly worried about something you can’t quite put your finger on, or you’re overly agitated and stressed and unsure what order to do those 50 things you need to do, or you have no energy or interest in anything and the thought of talking to people makes you want to turn the lights off and crawl under your duvet. Or you, who thinks there is no way out.

4th November 2019:

Like most Monday mornings I had meetings scheduled from 9am. The first, with one of my warm, assuring and all round amazing colleagues to discuss sustainability – let’s call her H. H and I had worked relatively closely for a couple of years by this point, we were in slightly different areas of work and I was very much a junior to H’s more senior role, but we crossed paths quite frequently and had what I would call a great working relationship. So, H kicks off the meeting with one of the most difficult questions I’ve ever had to answer; how are you doing?

Today:

You see, looking back I can see I wasn’t totally comfortable and firing on all cylinders for a long time. I’d struggled badly with self-doubt, over-thinking and anxiety since my teenage years. These spells would come in waves of around 3 weeks or so, but with some extra effort around exercising, eating a bit better, lowering drink consumption and opening up (if I could) to my dad, sister or whoever my manager was at the time, the waves would fizzle out and I’d be back on top form soon enough. It was an ever turning cycle and as soon as I owned it, it got a little easier to cope with.

I would always carry around these little demons in my head though; I’d over think conversations, fret over meetings or presentations at work, be ultra sensitive in private after harmless banter from friends, be hyper critical of my performance following even simple hobbies – never mind work, panic over whether people thought I was a good guy or not and then if that wasn’t enough, there were of course the old trusty intrusive thoughts where my mind could take me anywhere from fantasising unwillingly about suicide, worrying myself sick about death or illness in my family, something bad happening to my son etc etc.

Sleep was always an issue, I guess all those thoughts whirling around my mind were difficult to ignore and switch off. I would boil with frustration in my late teens/early twenties and it wasn’t until a conversation with my dad which taught me to accept sleeplessness for what it was, and if I couldn’t sleep, to be grateful of relaxing there in bed with my eyes closed, being mindful of my body. I managed on broken sleep for years and years based on this one concept.

But around 2017 the waves of low mood and anxiety started getting longer and more intense. I had some pretty huge life events occur over this next period of my life; new job with greater responsibility, I graduated university, I became a father to my wonderful son, I got married to my beautiful wife and of course I wrote and self-published my first novel. So life was pretty hectic, perfect on the outside, but deep inside my mind was growing ever darker and more frantic. A thick, opaque cloud had descended around me and the sunshine struggled to break through for any sustained period of time.

4th November 2019:

I’d been asked that one question thousands of times; how are you doing?

  • Not bad thanks, you?
  • Ticking along, cheers!
  • I’m good ta, how are you?
  • All good, mate. All good.

But not today. Today felt different, a huge surge of emotion came over me as I went to respond. No words would come out. My voice quivered and then the floods of tears burst through the dam. What followed was an outpouring of the last few years, jumping from one worry to the next, perhaps not making much sense, but my message was received loud and clear; I needed help. H was absolutely wonderful, a god send. She didn’t try to fix me; she listened like friend, advised like a supportive boss and showed a kind of balanced empathy which I will never forget. H was flabbergasted by my disclosure and told me I put on a good front, something I’d learned to do so well; I’d learned to wear it well. She encouraged me to go home and reassured me that everything was going to be ok.

Go home, see the doctor, we will take care of things here.

I grabbed my coat, my laptop and with my eyes fixed to the floor, I scurried back through the very same corridors I had lit up only 45 minutes earlier with my mask and fraudulent positivity. As I reached beyond the car park to where my car was, I burst out crying again.

Today:

So there began my journey to find myself again, to accept that I could no longer deal with my inner-self by myself, to deal with my mental health, my stress, my insecurities, my anxiety and my low mood.

I went to the doctors the very next day and – you guessed it – burst out crying again. It was like the release of a decade of pretending, of flapping so hard under the lake, yet keeping up the charade of my swan like grace above the surface, of inner critique, of people pleasing, of intrusive thoughts, of perfectionism… by speaking out, I was allowed to take off the mask.

I never had any trouble saying I was a bit stressed, anxious or worried about stuff (just ask my manager!) – the difficulty was crossing that line and saying I’m worried/stressed/anxious and I can’t cope with it.

The doctor diagnosed me with depression and anxiety disorder and prescribed me with some antidepressants. This was my choice. And a choice I was happy with. This was not a case of the doctor fobbing me off. I had coping strategies; exercise, walking, talking, writing, music, spending time with family etc. They had worked for years, but they were no longer enough. My dad had been telling me to go to the doctors for 2 years, but I had persisted with community based self-help strategies. But it was clear that now, I needed to take the next step and I have no shame in that.

Having initially been reluctant, I also agreed to counselling. My first response was; I don’t need it, there’s nothing to unpick from my past. Ha! How naive of me to restrict counselling to only be a response to trauma. After a few weeks off work, my head cleared a little and the idea of counselling grew on me – of course there were things to unpick; why do I think the way I think? Why to I stress about what I stress about? Just two of the questions I found myself asking. 3 sessions in, I’m finding myself enjoying the reflective process and the psycho education element (learning about why my body/brain responds in the way it does to certain triggers).

I am extremely fortunate to have a supportive employer, who has backed me 100% on this journey, has signposted me to where I needed to go, authorised time off in conjunction with the doctor – with no pressure whatsoever to rush back.

Initially, I felt guilty for being off work. Guilty I was leaving my colleagues in the shit. Guilty that I was spending some priceless time with my son whilst other dads were at work, potentially dealing with the same inter turmoil as I was. Guilty that I was not having to worry about work – so that made me worry! But I eased into it, I listened to the advice of the doctor and those around me and I focussed on me. I stayed active and purposeful with my days; exercise, walking, writing, playing with my son, without whom I haven’t the foggiest idea where this illness would have taken me, but I imagine I wouldn’t be sat here writing this, after my first week back at work, feeling almost back to my old self.

I wonder if my old self will in fact ever return. Or will it be a new version of me? A version that accepts my experiences and uses them to enable me to become stronger, more empathetic and arguably a more present and in-the-moment father, husband, friend and colleague.

I don’t know where this journey is going to take me next, but I’m sure this won’t be the last time I blog about this topic. To anyone out there who is experiencing anything like this; well done, you’ve made it this far, you’re a fucking superhero. Now take a deep breath, be brave, and speak to somebody. Trust me. Anybody; a parent/carer, friend, employer, colleague, a doctor, a neighbour, Desmond from the chippy, Auntie Susie… what you’re feeling is so common, don’t keep it trapped inside to fester, unleash the beast, stand up tall and own that mother fucking mindset… this is only ever temporary, this is not forever. You can get better, you will get better.

Yours with faith,

Nathan x

Composing an Author Bio

My Author Bio

To the narcissists amongst us this may come as a surprise, but the vast majority of us don’t usually like talking about ourselves. Therefore, the thought of selling yourself on a page of A4 paper feels somewhat awkward.

So when my friend, Tony Higginson, suggested I write an Author Bio to accompany my work and help inform potential networks of who I was – a step I arguably should have taken 18 months ago – I needed a little guidance on what to include in said bio.

Tony has been a god send to me in terms of making sense of the writing world, which – as you will be able to tell from my blog – is fairly new to me. He has helped me discover my identity as an author – not so much in terms of my writing style and ideas, but how I can develop as a product, a platform and a person in this crazy new world I find myself in.

Tony has been generous and kind with his time, open and approachable with regards to his vast knowledge and experience around publishing and schools and specific and timely with his feedback and support – all in the name of supporting a fellow north west bookish person and for this I am truly grateful. If you need a friendly face and some cheery northern humour – Tony is your guy! So of course, when he informed me of the ideal make up of an author bio, I scribbled some mental notes and got to work on it, treading carefully so not to fall into online dating profile, but mindful for it not to be a snoozefest.

How much to say? What is appropriate… or rather, what isn’t appropriate? Am I even that interesting? Just some of the questions I asked myself on this peculiar little journey.

However, I’m pleased to say, I made it… and after all of that, it doesn’t feel awkward after all.

Having confidence in your identity, your experiences and your expertise is nothing to squirm at. We should embrace it. I’d actively encourage anybody reading this to try and write their own bio – author or not. It’s quite fun, reflective and great for articulating who you are, where you’ve been and where you want to go. And if you feel your toes curling up, stick with it, that feeling will ease off.

I’ve included my author bio below. Where it will take me, who knows? I hope to accompany it with a synopsis of my book(s) for potential publishers, which I’ve also been working on. But right now, just the fact that I’m feeling more like an author after adding this key element to my arsenal, feels pretty good.

Ciao for now folks,

Nathan

Twitter: @parker_book

Instagram: @parker_book


Author Bio:

My name is Nathan Parker, a 32-year-old father of one from Blackpool, Lancashire. I’m recently married to my beautiful wife, Nadina, so beautiful in fact, let’s just say it’s a good job I have my sense of humour to rely on. Family has always been central to my universe, but since becoming a dad I feel as though life makes far more sense than it used to. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with Sonny, my son who is 18 months old – watching him develop and learn brings me a joy I never thought was possible. With any luck, one child may become two – or more – as the years go by.

I’m proud of the fact I was born and raised, schooled and now live and work in sunny Blackpool. Despite its perception as a town with challenges – a perception which is accurate on many fronts – in my thirty-two years I have seen and experienced community, resilience, strength and good times in this town.

I am a Youth Worker by trade, graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University with a first-class BA honours degree in Youth Work and Community Learning and Development. For ten plus years I have worked alongside young people experiencing some of life’s toughest challenges and, although now working at a strategic level, I work hard to support and empower the young people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to create their own stories; with informed choices, broadening horizons and challenging inequality within the systems young people are bound.

My journey into writing began officially in 2017 when I was tasked with making a creative pledge to myself, to write it down and tell the workshop within which the task was set -which I’ve since learned meant I was 90% more likely to see it through… sneaky devils!

The pledge I set myself was to write a short story. Fast forward 12 months and I self-published my first novel; The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, The First Book in the Granville Series. A fictional ‘anytown’ but certainly shaped from my knowledge of Blackpool.

The book enabled me to tell a story which was burning inside me; a tale inspired by personal and professional experiences told with realism through a world of fiction. My writing style is to take real life adversity, emotion and grit and weave it into stories filled with twists and turns, relatable characters and places which feel familiar to most.

I would say I’ve always loved to read, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth. I began my childhood as an avid reader, although it wasn’t the classics which hooked me in – ten year old Nathan was more of a Goosebumps fan. And I still read now; with a common, nightly routine of a few chapters before bed. My current read is Michael Connelly’s The Poet.

However, there was a huge void in my teens. A black hole within which books, reading and writing didn’t feature. School, Sports, Friendships, Hormones, whatever it was, I stopped reading and it wasn’t until my dad encouraged me to read again in my early twenties to help address a sleeping problem that I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and fell in love with books all over again.

Truth is, I believe if the stories I write were available to fifteen-year-old me, I never would have stopped reading. I needed real life, I needed danger and I needed topical issues which explained life to me – adversity, relationships, risk and reward. This is what I strive for in my writing. I have been privileged in many ways in my life, but I have also seen and experienced challenges which I seek to harness and weave into my writing, so that one day a young reader may pick up my book and find connection, comfort or hope.

My debut novel The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson was shortlisted for Lancashire Book of the Year 2019, a feat which I am so very proud of. 

The best part? The book prompted young people – young men in particular – to become passionate about reading. Am I the most qualified, technical writer in the world? Certainly not. But I believe my stories are raw, relatable and real and there is a gap in the young adult fiction market, which needs filling. 

I’m currently working on the second book in the series and am enjoying working alongside schools, delivering talks and workshops to students looking at motivating the next generation to pick up a pen, or a book and allow their minds to wander.

The Book Lounge

The Book Lounge, Kirkby Lonsdale

Nothing quite beats the smell of a book shop. I’m not talking about your mainstream Waterstones or your multi-purpose WH Smith’s. I’m talking about your independent book stores, oozing character, shelves stacked with endless possibilities.

The Book Lounge in Kirkby Lonsdale fits that brief to a tee. It sits neatly on Main Street in the centre of town, quaint and unassuming. When you walk in, you’re greeted with a setup which makes you feel warm and comforted, as though you’re at home.

Of course, the homely feel is more than just appearances. Owner, Valerie, and her colleagues are super welcoming and always smiling. In fact, in keeping with typical northern hospitality, we’d barely said ‘hello’ and the kettle was popped on.

The front room at The Book Lounge is flanked with packed shelves containing books that range in age and genre; second hand to new, romance to young adult fiction. The centre piece? A cosy couch and accompanying chairs, a coffee table and a fireplace – the perfect setting for a few chapters, a cuppa and some peace and quiet.

Through an intriguing doorway you can discover the back room, with yet more books and stories just waiting to be (re)discovered. Standing behind the counter, which doubles up as a till and kitchen area, are the afore mentioned smiles from friendly members of The Book Lounge team, ready with advice and to also take your order – tea with a dash of milk please!

I first connected with Valerie over Twitter, following the Lancashire Book of the Year 2019 event in the summer. We got chatting, as you do, before Valerie suggested we stock The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson at The Book Lounge – I was absolutely thrilled.

Who would have thought? My self-published book… in a real life book shop!

I ventured over to Kirkby Lonsdale on an overcast Tuesday afternoon a few weeks later, along with my (now) wife, Nadina and little boy, Sonny, and delivered some copies of my book.

The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson proudly featuring in the window display

Fantastic hospitality aside (which included cake by the way!), what was immediately apparent was how much of a presence the shop had in the community in just a year since opening. A steady flow of local people buzzed around the place; young people dipping their toe into the promising ocean of books, older people browsing for new adventures or revisiting previous ones and those of us who consider ourselves somewhere in the middle perusing the shelves for a new read – and of course Elmer’s Friends for Sonny!

Sonny’s favourite book, which has helped him learn the word kangaroo – or ‘roo he adorably puts it!

As we drained our mugs of tea, we chatted about all sorts; our lives, my book, the history of The Book Lounge, Sonny (who by now was getting restless and being a bit of a monkey!), we even ventured into topical issues in the cross over between literacy and lived experience and certain adversity which young writers are faced with.

My favourite thing about The Book Lounge? Their ethos around supporting local authors. Not only do Valerie and the team stock the books of local authors, they make it their focal point. There is an ever growing display of books by north west authors, who sit pride of place in either the window or on the first wall to the right of the shop, with copies of the books available to purchase in store. Valerie is on hand to offer a bit of back story about each of the books and their creators, which is such a unique and personal touch. I think it takes real confidence and bravery to think local in a world so fixated on mainstream and I for one feel very privileged to be amongst the special group that are being showcased as local authors in this fantastic, independent, north west book store.

Thank you Valerie and The Book Lounge team. For your hospitality and your faith. I hope I can visit again soon!

Check out The Book Lounge on Twitter or visit them in store today at;

12 Main Street, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, LA6 2AE

Ciao for now folks,

Nathan

Back to School

My first Author Visit to Saint Bede’s High School…

Happy author after a great session

The scene was set. I perched upon the edge of the stage in the hall at Saint Bede’s High School, Lytham, as the hordes of onlooking year 9 pupils entered the assembly hall.

As a youth worker who had visited schools countless times over the last ten years to speak to young people about various topics and issues, I hadn’t prepared myself for the nerves which suddenly consumed me. The harsh realisation jabbed me in the gut; I wasn’t here as a youth worker, I was here as an author… my very first school visit as an author to be precise!

I needn’t had worried though, the pupils were awesome and greeted me with kind eyes, smiles and interested looks. The first act of my two-part cameo at Saint Bede’s High School was to deliver a talk to the whole year group about my journey in to writing; how a regular dude from Blackpool wound up being shortlisted for for Lancashire Book of the Year 2019 with his debut novel, The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson (Book 1 of the Granville Series).

The talk seemed to be well received with nods, hands up and laughs in all the right places. I left the group with a call to action; to give it a go, whether that be writing, or indeed singing, dancing and painting for that matter – if I can do it, anybody can.

A Q&A afterwards prompted allsorts of interesting questions; from plot inspiration, current projects and my favourite from a young chancer – how many books have you sold?

My aim was to inspire and make writing accessible, with a ‘write what you know’ mantra dotted throughout. This paved the way for act two of my visit; a workshop with a smaller group of students around using their lived experience to help bring realism to fictional writing. We focussed on taking the things that we see, hear and feel and placing that in the midst of a fictional ‘Anytown’ – a technique which I utilise within my own writing.

The pupils and staff at Saint Bede’s were so friendly, welcoming and engaged in my visit. I’d like to say a big thanks to Miss Beswick, who organised the whole thing and granted me the opportunity to do something that I love. And of course, the nice cuppa I was greeted with on arrival!

The best bit? Well there are a few, for instance nothing quite beats that lightbulb moment when working with young people, when you can see the cogs turning in their heads and then ‘bam!’ the thing you’re talking about clicks in to place and their imagination bolts free. I have to say though, hearing from a couple of teachers to say that we had some students putting their hands up and contributing to the session – who ordinarily may not be as confident to do so – gave me great pleasure, or hearing that even putting pen to paper was a big deal for some.

I went into my visit to Saint Bede’s unsure of what would materialise. I came out with a clear idea of how I want to structure my school visits in future, with all students having said they enjoyed my workshop…

A sample group of students gave feedback

…I’ve heard from two parents who got in touch via social media to say their kids – both previously averse to reading – had come home from school and asked to order my book as they wanted to read it. After some students purchased books there and then, I later noticed on my online sales dashboard a big spike following my visit… it’s not hard for me to spot as I ordinarily tick along at an average of one or two every few days, so to be greeted with the sight of 15 sales in one day made me extremely happy and proud!

In summary, going back to school to talk about writing was pretty epic to put it lightly. Inspiring young people to read and write is something that warms the soul, making positive networks with lovely people at Saint Bede’s High School was a bonus and the whole experience has left me with a clearer path as to how I want to conduct myself in the world of writing.

I’ve since had positive talks with more schools and have dates booked in. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss an author visit to your school or library, please feel free to do so via email or social media (see Contact page).

Ciao for now people!

Nathan

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