Saturday, 16 July 2011


Edge Author Paula Rawsthorne shares her thoughts fresh from her first ever Book Tour.

I’ve just returned from my first ever book tour and I’m completely buzzing whilst, simultaneously, being completely knackered.   All the weeks of fitful sleep, plagued by nightmares of rows of uniformed teenagers throwing missiles and heckling me as I delivered my talk (naked of course!!).  All those hours poring over what I should say, what will hold their attention, get them wondering about my book and thinking that reading, in general, might not be such a bad thing to do with their time.  All that debating over whether I should try to learn about PowerPoint and do a presentation like pupils have come to expect.  But each time I verged towards giving it a go, an image of the scene from ‘2012’ (a recent British comedy) kept popping into my head- the Olympic sports promoter for schools drying up on a hall stage, a slouching year group in front of him and his PowerPoint presentation going haywire behind him - it was excruciating comedy and I knew it could well be me with my appalling track record of using technology.
Paula at Wirral Grammar
School for Girls
So, in the end I followed some sound advice - ‘just do what you’re comfortable with.’  And thank God for those wonderful students in Nottingham, Manchester and on the Wirral who sat so attentively and participated so magnificently as I stood in front of them and just talked and read!  Their many questions were insightful, their many answers bright and thoughtful and when I asked them to share a vivid childhood memory with us all, they were inspirational, funny and plentiful.  To have conversations about stories (even novels!) that students were working on and books that they were into, just made me happy.  I met so many great kids (including a very impressive book reviewers group) and dedicated teaching and library staff and I felt rather privileged to spend time talking with the very people that I’ve written my book for.  Thanks to them all for being so kind to a Book Tour Virgin!

To my fellow writers out there - how do you approach your book events?

To the readers who come along to author events- what do you like to get out of it?

 The Truth about Celia Frost is published by Usborne on 1st August.
“A gripping psychological thriller, mixing issues of ethics with poignant coming-of- age story.” The Bookseller.


  1. Congratulations on your first tour, Paula! I'll be looking to you for some tips for when I go out. As you say, I think the key is to be as well prepared as possible and only attempt what you're comfortable with.

    I'm looking forward to hearing what other writers and readers say in response to your questions above – particularly the readers. What do they want from a visiting author?

  2. Yay! So pleased to hear it went so well! I can well imagine those anxiety dreams!

  3. Congratulations, Paula! So glad it went well. Hope to meet up sometime and get a more detailed debriefing!

  4. That's great Paula. So glad it all went well and you didn't even have to go naked!

  5. I think you just have to be yourself, try and find out a bit about them. Following Philip Ardagh's advice can be exciting... never prepare anything... Re: Powerpoint, I use it but if it conks out, I make sure I can do without. And you were on the Wirral too, my neck of the woods!

  6. Sounds like you've had a busy week. Good to hear it all went well. Have you had ANY free time since the Waterstones Nottingham party? Amy at Usborne has agreed to you doing an interview for OurBookReviewsOnline (hope she told you)so I'm now thinking up some really clever questions.....

  7. It all sounds very exciting. Fascinating to read about these from the authors perspective :-)