Visiting children’s author wowed by pupils’ story ideas

Visiting children’s author wowed by pupils’ story ideas

PUPILS from Stenton Primary School were paid a visit by children’s author Abi Elphinstone, who talked about her books and gave tips on how to be a creative writer.

Abi, 38, grew up in Angus but moved to East Linton just over two years ago, where she stays with her husband and three young children.

The author is known for children’s books such as The Unmapped Chronicles series, The Dreamcatcher series and Sky Song.

Her latest book, Saving Neverland, was released on January 5 and formed part of her discussion at Stenton Primary School.

Abi said: “It was a great trip to Stenton.

“I live nearby so I had said to the school if they ever wanted me to come in and do a talk then I would love to.

“Some of the kids had already read some of my books so they knew a lot about my work and had lots of questions, which was nice.

“They were really engaged and offered up some amazing ideas.

“It’s funny because, as an author, you can sit for weeks trying to pull together an idea and then these kids can do it with their imaginations in seconds.”

Saving Neverland follows a 10-year-old girl who flies to Neverland, and serves as a sequel to the classic Peter Pan, with protagonist Martha teaming up with Peter Pan to save Neverland.

Abi said she particularly enjoyed discussing how to come up with new story ideas.

She said: “There are always opportunities to find a good story.

“I think especially where we live here in East Lothian, with the scenic Lammermuir Hills and the beaches.

“I spoke to the kids a lot about the magic of the wild and where you can find stories.

“It might be a random footprint in the sand at Belhaven Bay or a random door in East Linton that nobody has noticed.

“I then asked them to look at things like this and apply two powerful words to what you see: what if? What if the footprint was made by a dragon; what if the door leads to a magical kingdom?”

Abi hopes to release her next book, A Vet To Magical Beasts, set entirely in East Lothian, early next year.

She said: “There are many beautiful landmarks here and so many opportunities for stories, so there is plenty of scope for an East Lothian-based book.”

Joanne Legge, headteacher at Stenton Primary School, said: “Abi’s visit was amazing, and it was wonderful to see the children’s imagination come alive with their ideas after hearing how her travels, adventures and day-to-day life inspire her books.

“The children were motivated and eager to begin writing their own stories after her visit.”

Abi will visit Night Owl Books in East Linton on Sunday from 9.30am to speak about Saving Neverland and to sign books.

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East Lothian Courier
Craig Bathgate

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