Breakfast with David Almond

Posted on: Friday 02 July 2010 6:39am

For some of the brave early-risers on this last day of the conference, the damp Sheffield morning greeted them with a special informal breakfast session with acclaimed children’s author David Almond.

David shared his thoughts on the enormously positive reception his book “Skellig” has had since its release, what he’s been up to lately, and why it’s such a wonderful thing to write for children. He charmed the delegates with the story of one unexpected ‘adaptation’ of his book – once, after he had just finished talking about the story at a primary school, a group of young boys came up to him. They looked at him, and he looked back at them, and then they said, “Right,that was brilliant! Here, you be Skellig, I’ll be Michael and he’ll be Mina.” And off they went, to the school yard, to play the story out themselves. (Not the kind of thing that happens in the world of “proper, sophisticated” adult books!)

When asked about how he deals with writer’s block, David shared his great, magical secret: in his office, above the place he works he has a huge banner. It says:

Sit with the Story.

On the way out, above his door, there was another banner that says:

Go back to the Story.

David’s words were a great reminder during the frenzy of the conference of the importance of always taking the time to go back and create, to stick with the story. After David, Marc Goodchild was also at hand to briefly present about the new BBC @North project.

regular 2010