Unless you live under a rock, or far, far away, you will know that yesterday was HOT. Yes, that’s right. It was so hot that it warranted capitalisation. Extreme heat + end of term = sweaty, slightly grumpy teenagers. You can’t deny it. And who can blame them? I’m so glad those days are long gone for me.

Anyhow, the reason for this blog post, is that yesterday, despite the heat etc. etc., we kicked off the festival with the glorious Laura Dockrill. After months of planning, we finally got going! We visited Brentwood County High School and Shenfield High School too. I’ve got to tell you, Laura had her work cut out yesterday. But, because her energy is infectious, Laura got the students on side, asking her question, after question, after question.

My favourite Laura quote from the day is definitely ‘Ice cream men are gangsters.’ If you want to know how Laura came to make this point, you need to watch ‘Star Cross’d’, which is the short film she was commissioned to script for the British Council’s ‘Shakespeare Lives’ project.

Laura’s latest novel, Lorali, is out right now. There are naked mermaids, fit pirates, terrifying sea monsters…boy meets mermaid, boy falls in love with mermaid, pirates and monsters chase mermaid…read it!