Author’s Book Tour Begins at Bolton School

The first stop for YA author Lisa Williamson on her ‘Paper Avalanche’ tour was Bolton School, where she spoke to an excited audience of 350 pupils from five different schools about her books and writing career.

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14th February 2020 — Pupils from Bolton Muslim Girls School, Canon Slade School, Sharples School and The Derby High School joined the whole of Year 8 and Year 9 at Bolton School Girls’ Division and the Girls’ Division YA book club for the event.

Lisa talked about her pathway to becoming an author, which began with writing short stories as a small child. She described how boredom can be good for writers as it develops imagination and said that ‘shyness is a superpower that allows you to observe everyone else’. Despite being shy herself, she went on to become an actor and has done panto with Basil Brush and even featured in a John Lewis Christmas ad!

However, after a while she decided she wanted to be in charge of the story and this led her to remember how much she loved writing. She wrote her first book over the course of two years while temping in offices but when it wasn’t picked up by any agents she began to look for other ideas.

While working as an administrator for the Tavistock Centre for Gender Identity, she was inspired to write her first published YA novel, ‘The Art of Being Normal’. As well as dealing with gender identity, the story is about being a teenager and not fitting in: something she said that everyone feels sometimes, no matter what age. Her second novel, ‘All About Mia’, follows a middle child whose behaviour spirals out of control and who has to deal with the consequences of her actions. Her latest book ‘Paper Avalanche’ was inspired by a TV documentary about hoarders. Lisa said that she wondered what it would be like to be a child or teen who has to live amongst all of the things their hoarder parent has accumulated, with no control over their living situation. This eventually became the story of Ro in ‘Paper Avalanche’.

Lisa peppered the descriptions of her books with readings of key moments in the story. She also teased the audience with a reading from her new book ‘First Day Of My Life’, which is about three friends and a stolen baby. It will be published in July. After Lisa had read from and talked about her books and her path to becoming an author, the floor was opened for questions.

About Bolton School Girls' Division

At Bolton School we help every girl discover her unique talents and strengths. Our staff are committed to developing in each girl the love of learning, creative independence and academic self discipline which will enable her to achieve excellent examination results. Our aim is to inspire in our girls the attributes, skills and values which will enable them to make informed choices, become responsible and principled citizens, enjoy successful careers and achieve personal fulfilment.

We understand that the best learning takes place when girls feel cherished, understood and secure. In our friendly and respectful, single sex environment, girls of all ages and backgrounds are free to relax and enjoy each other's company without feeling self conscious. They forge strong friendships to support and sustain them throughout their lives. They also have the opportunity to get to know members of the Boys’ Division through participation in extra-curricular activities alongside them.

Girls at Bolton School recognise how lucky they are to enjoy all the advantages of a supportive and inspirational educational environment with its superb facilities and exceptional range of extra-curricular activities; they value the importance of ‘giving back’ through participation in community action programmes, locally, nationally and abroad.

The best way to appreciate our school, is to visit us. The girls are terrific ambassadors and would love to show you their magical, uplifting surroundings as well as talk to you about the exceptional range of opportunities offered to them.

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