Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Johnny O'Brien: Day of the Assassins

Johnny O'Brien is the author of Day of the Assassins, a fast-paced time travel adventure set just before the outbreak of the First World War. Johnny grew up in Scotland and has recently returned on a tour to promote his book. He tells us a bit about his tour and Day of the Assassins.

I grew up in Scotland and it’s a long time since I was here – it’s really great to be back. So far we have visited Linlithgow Bridge Primary, Forrester High School and Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh and Burgh School in Galashiels and Kingsland Primary School in Peebles.

I grew up in Peebles and went to Kingsland School so it was amazing to go back after more than thirty years. I’ve got to say that the pupils and teachers we have met have been brilliant - really welcoming and enthusiastic. Thanks to everyone! Along the way, we’ve had some great discussions about history, the First World War, the assassination in Sarajevo, ‘what if’ scenarios in history and loads more.

We’ve also had some great questions – my favourites so far: ‘Johnny – how much money do you make?’, ‘ you don’t really think that writing is a proper job do you?’ and, ‘do you know anything about rabbits?’ There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for the book – I explain that ‘Day of the Assassins’ is a good old action adventure (partly motivated by my need to get my own kids off the Playstation) – but set in accurate historical context so that people who read it, might learn something about history in the process almost ‘by mistake’ .

This seems to strike a chord – I read somewhere that history is ‘dying out’ in schools... and young people aren’t interested in it. Not so from what I’ve seen – we’ve sold so many books we’ve had to DHL another lot up from London.

You can find out more about Johnny O'Brien on his website.

Other News:

Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry books, has teamed up with Innocent Smoothies in a project which aims to get children everywhere involved in creating 26 stories, each inspired by Innocents new Fridge magnets. They hope to create the biggest game of online consequences ever! Take a look at the Innocent website for more details.

Eoin Colfer is writing a stage musical called Lords of Love, which he hopes to bring to the Edinburgh Fringe next year.


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