Another fantastic author visit, but with a difference, because while Kirkland Ciccone supposedly came along to promote his book, Conjuring the Infinite, he actually spent his time promoting libraries and librarians and reading and the myriad paths that stories take you on.
The 3rd years making up the audience are old hands at author visits; this is their fourth author this year, so they’re waiting patiently to see what this one tries to grab their imaginations 😛
And he what he did was describe a life very similar and yet so different to theirs; a life growing up in Cumbernauld a town where the library was the only lovely thing available (his words); a town where people played as youthful detectives with dodgy gang names; where Betty the Machete made sure he wasn’t bullied at school, despite the Kurt Cobain lunchbox.
And as he went on, he brought his reading material with him, explaining their power on his existence at a given time, leading him up to the present day and writing his own book.
The 3rd years are nice kids, but they’re at that stage when being amused is not that cool, yet they were giggling after the first five minutes, with regular glances at the staff to check that this was genuinely a genuine author, and not just some random guy – cos, like, he’s so normal (and just a wee bit mental).
And then they ran to fetch their English jotters to add another author’s name scrawled across it – so I assume they believed us that Kirkland is, like, for real, a published author, honest.
I particularly recommend Kirkland’s version of When Book Titles Go Bad, a collection that hopefully bears no reality to his previous existence as a library assistant!
We had to make sure this was a short visit so the class could get their buses at the end of the day, but so much was packed in, it felt like a lazy double period blethering with friends.
Many thanks to Kirkland the normal, Kirkland the mental, and Kirkland the all-round-nice-guy who managed to squish us in at really short notice, not forgetting the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Funding for making possible another fantastic author event for our pupils.