Today our Year 5 and 6 children were lucky enough to have a visit from Abi Elphinstone, author of The Dreamsnatcher. The children have been sharing this as their class novel and having English lessons around the book. She talked to the children about the process of writing a book and brought her wildcat Griff along to say Hi!
She talked to the children about all of the adventures she went on which inspired her book. From waterfall climbing as a child, riding in wheelbarrows, climbing the moors and wildcat spotting. All of her ideas from writing came from experiences rather than sitting in a room trying to think of plot lines and characters. She told the children to look up and experience life as storing these memories could be inspiration for future writing.
Abi demonstrated her hunting skills when she catapulted a toy hedgehog at the children which caused much amusement as the children tried to catch the hedgehog and get 10 years good luck. She then told stories of how Romany Gypsies cooked Hedgehogs by caking them in mud and roasting on fires, apparently they’re delicious when eaten with tomatoes and onions.
The children were captivated by Abi’s tales of all the adventures she has been on from abseiling down caves, hangliding off mountains and her next trip living in the mountains of Mongolia with the Kazakh Eagle hunters. Her creative process involves 6 months actual writing and 6 months researching across the world. Although the inspiration for the woods in The Dreamsnatcher is from the great Oak trees in the New Forest.
There were lots of interesting questions for Abi about who influences her, what her favourite author is and there were a number of attempts to get her to give plot spoilers which she strongly resisted despite strenuous efforts. We did however get a sneak peak of the maps and plot notes from the third book currently named ‘Book 3’
It was a brilliant experience for the children and we look forward to welcoming Abi back to the school as some time in the future!