A review of my school visit – Tracy Alexander Visits Hans Price Academy

During the literacy celebrations in the lead up to World Book Day Tracy Alexander, author of HACKED, visited Hans Price Academy and talked to the whole of year seven about literature, creative writing and being an author as well as holding a question and answer session and reading an extract from her brilliant book.

The students were gripped from start to finish and bursting with questions for Tracy about everything from writing habits and getting a book published to computer hacking and just exactly how a professional author would know about “aimbots” in computer games?

It was amazing to see an author at school and Tracy Alexander was really interesting and really funny. I already like to write but it inspired me to think about writing a book! Amelia

  • hansprice1

 It was amazing and I liked talking to her about what inspired her to write a book. I asked who inspired her and she said that she gets inspiration from her children. After school that day I started writing my own book. Becca


I found Tracy Alexander’s visit very interesting, especially talking about military drones and hacking. I asked whether there was going to be a sequel to HACKED and there is and I’m excited about it. I suggested another book and Tracy Alexander said it sounded like a great idea and maybe I should write it myself. We learnt what makes up a good story and found out what happens in HACKED without spoiling the ending so we can read it and find out ourselves! Alistair

 I enjoyed finding out how authors get their inspiration and learnt that it is good to plan out a story, not just rush into writing it. I’d love more authors to visit the school! Ethanial

I knew from the second Tracy Alexander started talking that it was going to be really exciting! We learnt so much and Tracy Alexander was really lovely. I bought HACKED and had it signed and I can’t wait to read it and then write a review which I can send to Tracy Alexander for her website. Lottie

Are you rich?

What better way to celebrate World Book Day than to describe those moments when writer meets reader.
The first question, often, ‘Are you rich?’
I shake my head, apologetically. The disappointment is mutual.
‘Are you famous?’
‘You mean like David Beckham?’

I search for redeeming qualities. Hard-working, enthusiastic, kind – they’re not going to hit the mark. As I can’t be rich and famous, I opt for the complete opposite. I am ordinary, I tell them. I don’t have a special part of my brain that makes up stories. I get it wrong. I give up. I get bored. I have another job because I don’t earn enough to keep a rabbit. I eat Marmite.

Bizarrely, they like this. In the first five minutes I have gone from alien-being-that-by-magic-brain-dumps-entire-book-without-trying to real person. A small leap of logic and that means everyone in the audience could be a writer too. Is it wishful thinking or does the room decide to pay attention after all?

DSC_2895Yesterday, I was with 90 Year 7s at Hans Price Academy. There were little groups within the classroom that may as well have had labels – earnest, excited, looking forward to the bell, disruptive. My goal is always to get the ones that could scupper the session to instead make it better. It’s intensely satisfying if the shouter-out ends up shouting out something brilliant, or insightful, which is what happened as my hour was nearly over. We were talking about viewpoint when, a child I wasn’t sure was even listening, succinctly captured the joy of writing in the first person. *grins*

After the session I signed whatever scraps the Year 7s could find for me to write on and, as usual, had to refuse to give away my books despite the pleading faces.

I may not be rich or famous, but for five minutes after a school visit I feel I am both.