World Book Day Visit by Dan Smith
World Book Day event
Visit by Dan Smith
Tuesday 1st March 2016
Dan, now a successful writer for both children and adults, was inspired by his early love of stories. His favourite film, Star Wars, which he saw when he was seven, made him want to be his hero Han Solo. He loved everything about the film, and the action figures. His childhood was spent travelling the world, as his family lived in many exotic locations following the jobs of his father, a chemical engineer. For a long time Dan was home schooled, and enjoyed the freedom of living in places like Brazil, Indonesia and Russia. However when he was sent to boarding school in England to continue his education, stories became his comfort and escapism when he was feeling homesick. He started to make up stories as well as reading them, and when he was in his late teens he wrote them down.
The boys were enthralled by Dan’s tales of sitting in the crater of an active volcano, fishing for piranhas, contending with the most poisonous spider in the world in one of his childhood homes, and encountering snakes, scorpions, ants, armadillos and jaguars. They were also intrigued by his description of the lawlessness of Brazil. His family lived in a remote part of the country where the only policeman was usually drunk or asleep, and where guns were commonly kept by most of the workers his father employed. He has used this landscape as the background to some of his novels.
His advice to budding writers was to practice constantly and let your imagination have free rein. It is also crucial to read widely. Dan’s favourite books include The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and anything by J K Rowling who he thinks is a wonderful writer. He loves the freedom of being an author, and enjoys events in schools as children are so enthusiastic. In the afternoon Dan inspired some creative writers with advice and fun activities, based on film clips from The Thing, and Children of Men, and extracts from the graphic novel Walking Dead.
His latest book Boy X, is set in a high tech research facility on a remote tropical island. Ash must travel through the jungle to save his Mum and her colleagues who have been infected with a deadly virus. The plot of Big Game was not his own idea, but was first a film script that he was asked to turn into a novel. The film, which stars Samuel L Jackson, is about a plot to kidnap the American president after his plane Air Force One is shot down. My Friend the Enemy was inspired by the wartime coastal defences. His next book, which should be published early next year, is about a boy who goes to a training centre in the Antarctic.
- Hall Road pavilion continues to take shape
- RAF Section retains prestigious regional trophy
- Social Media Kindness Day
- Evacuee Day
- Ready, Set, Mo!
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