I’m delighted to welcome B.B. Taylor to the blog today to talk about all things Curse Of The Nomed and secondary school. Based on a winning idea by The Whizz Writers at Four Dwellings Academy in Birmingham, and beautifully illustrated by Holly Bushnell, B.B. Taylor has brought their story about three children’s first day at secondary school to life in a gripping adventure. Curse Of The Nomed, which publishes on May 17th, will be raising money for Partnership for Children – a wonderful charity that supports positivite mental health in children.
And now, I’ll hand over to my Year 6’s and B.B. Taylor…
Why did you want to be involved in the project?
I loved the fact that the ideas were completely from the students and the originality surrounding them, but I also loved the reason behind the book and the amazing work Wesleyan were doing to raise money for Partnership for Children who are such a wonderful charity.
How difficult was it to write a book based on ideas from the Whizz Writers compared to your own ideas?
I was a little nervous at first as it was the first time I’d written a story based on someone elses ideas, but I fell in love with the story and the characters that the Whizz Writers created and it was so easy to slip into the world and walk through the story with our three heroes.
We think one of the characters looks like our school librarian. How often do people you know influence your characters?
All the time, I love watching and listening to people. How they act, move and respond to the world around them. I love pulling in inspiration from real life characters that people can almost see themselves inside the story too.
Which of the characters do you relate to most?
Nora, I think, I was very self-conscious when I started school and my memory was (and still is) terrible. I struggled a lot with the transition into secondary school and I hope this book can in some way help those who are nervous about the adventures ahead.
How did you feel when you moved to secondary school?
I was very nervous as I was always worried whether people would like me or if I would make friends. I spent a lot of time in the library at school escaping into the worlds I now love to create, but I also grew more confident and happy in who I was and what I could achieve in life as I got older.
Lots of us are feeling nervous about moving to secondary school. How do you deal with new situations when you’re feeling nervous?
When I’m feeling nervous I giggle and smile a lot, I also tend to become a lot more active and energetic. I think it’s my brains way of channelling my nerves into something productive.
Did you have a favourite teacher or subject at school?
I loved History at school, so many stories hidden in the past and I’d often create stories in my head of the adventures people from the past would get up to. I had several lovely teachers in secondary school including my form tutor Mr Orme and my English teacher Miss Skelding.
Do you have a favourite childhood book or author?
In secondary school I discovered the Doomspell Trilogy by Cliff McNish which is still to this day one of my favourite set of books. I also loved the Northern Lights books by Philip Pullman and Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn. All very different books but all pull you into worlds you could lose yourself in.
You’ve written books for very young children through to middle grade. Do you have a favourite age group to write for?
I love my picture books and being able to perform them for younger children, but Middle Grade is my favourite because I have more space to explore and create the worlds for my stories.
And finally, if you could spend a day with any character from a children’s book, who would you spend it with, and what would you do?
Yorek, the bear from Northern Lights and I’d visit the Aurora borealis with him. It’s a dream of mine to go and see the lights one day.
Thank you so much for answering our questions about Curse Of The Nomed and secondary school. We hope the book raises lots of money for Partnership For Children.
Huge thanks to my Year 6 Writers for their brilliant questions, and to B.B. Taylor for her fabulous answers.
Do make sure you get your hands on a copy of Curse Of The Nomed – you can read my review here!
You can find out all about the project and people involved in bringing Curse Of The Nomed to life at lookatourbook.co.uk