Popular children’s author Cathy Cassidy visited Fairfield High School in Horfield the day before the publication in paperback of her two latest books.
Cathy, who has twice won the “Queen of Teen” title, has written more than 20 books, which have sold more than a million copies.
The latest, Fortune Cookie, is the sixth and final title in the Chocolate Box Girls series. Also published this month (4th February) is Looking Glass Girl, a reworking of Alice in Wonderland.
Cathy, who used to work at Shout magazine and before that was fiction editor on Jackie magazine, is a former art teacher. She tours extensively around the UK, meeting more than 10,000 young readers every year.
She spoke to Year 7 and 8 girls from FHS, students from Elmfield Secondary School, and Year 5 and 6 pupils from Glenfrome and May Park primary schools, and signed copies of her latest books.
Cathy was on the third day of a two-week tour to promote her books; her next title is The Broken Heart Club, which comes out in April.
She told the students how she literally dreams up her stories, and how she develops her characters by drawing sketches and making mood boards.
Asked for her advice to budding writers, she said: “Write lots. Write a little bit every day, maybe a diary or journal. Don’t just write at school. It’s like everything – you have to practise.
“Write from the heart, about the things you care about. I always knew I wanted to write. I write because I have stories in my head and I get inspiration from all around me.”
Cathy encouraged those with ambitions as authors to share their daydreams by penning entries for her Dreamcatcher blog, which is written by her readers for other readers.
She signed books for students and encouraged them to explore her website, www.cathycassidy.com for more information and inspiration.
Natasha Edmunds, head of English at Fairfield, said: “It was wonderful for the students to meet such a successful author. Cathy’s visit encouraged them to continue to enjoy reading and inspired some of them in their own writing.”