Children’s Ireland Book Conference

I was lucky enough to attend the Children’s Ireland Book Conference last weekend in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. What a super cool venue!

John Boyne (one of my heroes) was interviewed by Robert Dunbar, and afterwards I asked John a question. How did he come up with the idea of a boy who floats for his children’s novel ‘The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket.’

He said that he had been looking for an usual main character to represent difference and the idea came to him when he was walking his dog in Marley park. The dog pulled the lead and at the same time he imagined how funny he would look if he had a floating child pulling a lead on his other arm. If  you haven’t read the book do – it’s my favourite of John Boyne’s.

I also listened to Alex T. Smith talk about his inspiration for his children’s series Claude the Dog, and he taught us all how to draw Claude.  It was great fun!

Afterwards we had wine and yummy finger food and I got talking to  Paula Leydon, a lovely  and interesting children’s writer from Zambia. I’m looking forward to reading her book ‘Butterfly Heart’.

This week the Dublin Writers’ Festival is running until Sunday.

I’m really looking forward to attending events this weekend and will let you know how I get on.