Thomas Docherty - Guest Blog from Oxford
"I have done quite a lot of literary festivals now and feel very comfortable telling my stories to groups of children and their parents and my event in Oxford on Saturday seemed to go down very well. I have made some large cardboard cut out props to help me tell my stories and I do some live drawing. I also project the illustrations from the books at the same time but I find that the cut outs grab the children’s attention in a way that the images on the screen do not. The fact that they are obviously quickly hand drawn and painted and can be passed around and held also makes them more ‘real’ to the audience. Having said that, I have a giant ice lolly prop, which if I invite the younger members of the audience to take a bite and say what it tastes like, they will happily do so and say ‘apple’ or ‘lemon,’ where as the older children tend to say ‘cardboard!’ Because the event was centred around my latest book ‘Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure’ the publishers had arranged for there to be and ice cream bicycle at the exit and everyone who wanted got a mini milk, which presumably tasted better than my cardboard props!"