Fantasy author David Whitley appeared at Wrexham Library to give a talk to Year 6 pupils from Ysgol Rhosddu on Thursday 18th October. The well-received event was part of the library’s Children’s Book Week.
Whitley, author of the Agora trilogy, introduced himself by telling the students that there was a popular thought that fantasy authors had been “driven slightly mad by an inability to connect to the real world” – and the children burst into laughter when he assured them that in his case, this was absolutely true! He went on to talk about utopias and surrealism, which the students picked up on remarkably quickly – with the author himself commenting later that he was hugely impressed that students were “really willing to take on board some quite complicated ideas.”
The children were also given their own chance to create a fantasy world, with Whitley’s sole restriction being that no-one was allowed to contradict anyone else. In just ten minutes or so he used skilful questioning to get the group to create a vivid setting of a volcanic land filled with three kinds of people engaged in a conflict, praising the students for their “really clever and interesting ideas.”
The students involved were just as quick to tell Wrexham.com how much they’d enjoyed the event, with one boy, Dan, summing up the general mood as he said “I really liked it. My favourite bit was when he was describing his books and all the different types of characters.”
Whitley also gave the opportunity for the youngsters to ask him questions about his books and about writing, and buy copies of the first two books in the trilogy at a reduced rate and get them personally signed.
The first two books in the Agora trilogy, The Midnight Charter and Children Of The Lost, are currently available and published by Puffin. Book three will be released early next year. David Whitley is appearing at the St Mary’s Centre in Chester as part of the Chester Literature Festival at 11:30am on Tuesday 23rd October.