Every now and again (usually when I’ve got a new book out) the lovely people at Puffin ask if I’d like to do a week long book tour visiting schools around the country to launch the book. This time the tour, back at the end of September, was for The Great Fire Dogs and there were lots of costumes to take with us so children and staff could get dressed up.
Plus Puffin agreed that my husband Eric could come (just as well as he was driving) and golden retrievers Bella and Freya were welcome to be part of the tour too (actually they were the stars of the tour).
Fortunately when Eric went to pick up the hire car they only had a 7-seater left and gave him that instead of the one we’d ordered which was just as well with costumes and dogs, me and Eric, plus a Puffin staff member to squeeze in the back too.
Bella and Freya demonstrated how an assistance dog can be very helpful by picking up dropped items for someone in a wheelchair. Although Freya did do quite a lot of jumping around like a lamb as well for some reason.
On the Friday morning we visited Lancashire and a school that had a garden for Bella and Freya to play in in-between going out on stage which was just perfect. Bella and Freya and some of her new friends were even in the paper.
We travelled all the way from St Austell in Cornwall on the Monday where ITV came to film the dogs and the newspaper took photos all the way up to Preston on the Friday with Devon, Stroud, Cheltenham, Manchester, where we were on Tameside radio on The Reporter Show, and Bolton on the way.
Everywhere we went I was amazed by all the good story ideas the children had and am sure I met lots of future writers! 🙂
Our favourite hotel was the Bear of Rodborough as they were so dog friendly 🙂 (Freya not keen on the bear figure though!)
We met hundreds and hundreds of children as the host schools invited more schools to join them and at the end of it, tired and exhausted, we drove home smiling because we’d had a fabulous time! And I’ll never forget it 🙂