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Friday, 30 September 2011

Read & Answer booklets for my books

For each of my books I write a Read & Answer teachers aid. When I visit a school I give these to teachers. I'm told they each provide up to six weeks of lesson plans and cover Art and Design, Drama, History, Geography and Citizenship in addition to Literacy. Below is a sample of the Read & Answer for Sam Marsh: The Viking King.

Part 2 Sam’s Discovery, a new life, a family and enemies he never knew  
he had. (Read pages 20 to 50)
What sort of a home is 22 Grimwith Crescent? (A foster home, is it happy, peaceful, chaotic, secure?)
How do Sam, Jenny and Spike feel about living there? (Happy, unhappy, angry?)
What do the children think of Jessie Brooks? (Is she a good foster mum or not? If not, why not?)
Page 20 to 23 offers descriptions of some of the characters, discuss with the children what they think they might look like from the descriptions.
A news flash comes on the TV. Discuss who’s interested in listening to it?   
Page 26. Ask the children to discuss how they would feel diving in a mini sub. What could they look for?
What must the SS Helmsfjord look like after sitting on the sea bed for sixty years?
How did Sam and Jenny feel when they heard someone knocking on their front door at 5.07 am.
See Page 34. There is an old van sat across the street from 22 Grimwith Crescent, what is it they doing?
Where does Sam think the Lofoten Island’s are? (Near the North Pole.)
What do the Norwegians call their provincial kings and queens? (Chieftains)
Discuss with the children how Sam must have felt discovering who his birth parents were and then finding out they were dead?
Page 41 How did Herr Krater feel when he discovered the Chieftains of Lofoten had a son? (Surprised), Why? (He likes to control everything, it may interfere with his plans.)
Who Is the first person to figure out how Sam’s mum and dad were killed? (Jenny) And what does she think? (That they were murdered)    
Who is Freyer Becken? (Sam’s great grandmother or Oldemor) How did she discover she had a great grandson? (Newsflash)


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

School visits!

I'm doing my first school visit of this school year next week and I'm really looking forward to getting back out there again.
It's really great because you get to visit schools all over the country, work with some really talented children and meet some brilliant teachers!
Next week it's Tooting Bec, the week after Oldham! I'm hoping to visit Scotland and Wales later in the year too! It doesn't matter where your school is I'd love to come and visit!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Mr Littleplod the Cave Guard

The Gurglespink Leprechaun’s from County Fergusbotherbetrouble

“This be a newsflash!” Said the elf  newsreader seriously, “the Elf Broadcasting Company be hearing rumours that the naughty O’Plod brothers be preparing a takeover bid for Cave of Victoria, the Magic Cave! Elves are asked to be keeping their eyes and ears open and not, repeat NOT, to leave their posts!”
The O’Plod brothers were Gurglespink Leprechaun’s from County Fergusbotherbetrouble, they were small, mean, silly and green. They had big eyes made even bigger by thick magnifying spectacles and they always said ‘Bejimminy’! They hated cave elves with every fibre of their being but quite liked the idea that the magic cave had magic doors that could take them anywhere their hearts desired. And, because they were so greedy, if they took over the magic cave they were going straight to Fort Sox, the elf bank, to steal some gold! 

Two pairs of huge, beady green eyes peeked over a rock at the front of the Magic Cave and then quickly disappeared. They waited for ten seconds and peeked again. They kept peeking and disappearing, peeking and disappearing.  Something untoward was afoot! 
The scene at the entrance to the cave was quite normal, the elves were busy coming and going but nobody was sat on the Cave Guard’s mushroom stool and nobody was playing with the fairy chess set by the entrance. A radio could be heard talking away to itself but there was no one listening to it. 
Suddenly a strong wind started gusting towards the cave, the noise of the howling was so loud that it masked the silly giggles and cackles of the creatures that were causing the wind to blow so hard.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Please support my sponsorship to make it public

 On Sunday 25th September, along with Clover, Bramble, Hughie and Poppy, I will be leading a sponsored dog walk between the villages of Clapham and Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales to raise much needed funds for Bentham & District Pet Rescue, your generous support would be most welcome!

I need more facebook friends to support this event in order to make it public on Facebook.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Amazon Author Page

Buy all my books on Amazon, visit my author page at

2000 hits on Red Room Blogs this year!

I've not blogged on Red Room for a while, but just discovered that my blogs have been read 2000 times this year alone! Thanks to everyone who has read my blogs and for everyone about to read them, enjoy! And I promise to getting blogging on Red Room real soon! 
(In the meantime, why don't you buy one of my books!)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Bentham & District Pet Rescue

Is a small independant not for profit animal rescue centre, based on the west edge of North Yorkshire and North Lancashire. We specialize in cats, but have close contacts with other organizations for dogs and small furries. Our aim is to rehome all the animals that come to us.

Sponsored Dog Walk

 On Sunday 25th September I will be leading a sponsored dog walk between the villages of Clapham and Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales to rasie much needed funds for Bentham & District Pet Rescue, your generous support would be most welcome!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Children's Discovery Centre

 Leap Off the Page
The National Charity of Children’s Writers and Storytellers in Education
 We are a charity set up by teachers, actively targeting the disadvantaged. We passionately believe in changing children’s lives through stories.

Book children's author Robert Bullock to visit your school by following this link:

New drama workshops

My new drama workshops start in the same way as the Creative Writing ones, I read from either, Noah Ramsbottom and the Treasure of Skull Island or Sam Marsh: The Viking King (depending on the age of the children) and then the  children get together in small groups and write the script for their own radio play. 

I have chosen a radio play for these workshops as this makes the children think about how to express actions, situations and emotions using verbal communication and not visual actions. It also allows children to enjoy creating diverse sound effects! 

The scripts can be planned, developed, written and rewritten and then the plays can be extensively rehearsed before they are performed and possibly recorded in front of the larger group. This is proving to be my most popular and lively workshop!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Herr Krater's revenge

Herr Krater‭’‬s revenge.

‭“Look!” called Sam’s Gran Freyer Becken, pointing out to sea. She had a terrified look in her eyes.
‭“Oh no! There are more of them coming!” yelled Sam's friend, Jenny James. Staring out from the burning embers of the Royal Villa in Svolvaer.
“The battle‭’‬s not over yet men‭!" ‬Admiral Stig Berg‭ ‬called out‭ ‬to his MJK soldiers and everyone else at the smouldering bomb site which had just been subjected to a brutal attack by the laser firing spider tanks of Herr‭ ‬Krater.‭ “‬Everyone take cover again‭! ‬Back down into the bunkers‭!”
Everyone stared in horror as the sea started bubbling and boiling once again.‭ ‬But no one could have ever imagined what was coming next.‭ ‬One by one flat metal discs plopped to the surface of the sea.‭ ‬There were ten discs,‭ ‬each five metres across.‭
After a few seconds of total inactivity the discs started flashing fiery red and yellow light from their edges and then they started to spin.‭ ‬They started turning slowly but soon were turning quicker than‭ ‬helicopter propellers.‭ “‬No‭!”‬ shouted Sam,‭ ‬rushing up to the front line,‭ “‬it can‭’‬t be‭!”
“What are they Sam‭?”‬ asked Stig,‭ ‬watching in disbelief.‭ ‬After figuring out how to destroy the Spider Tanks,‭ ‬Admiral Stig Berg had learnt to trust Sam Marsh‭’‬s judgement one hundred per cent.‭
“Spinners‭!”‬ replied Sam,‭ “‬They‭’‬re here to finish us off‭!”
Everyone stood in silent terror as the Spinners turned faster and faster on the surface of the ocean.‭ ‬They were creating huge,‭ ‬violent waves.‭ ‬In a blinding flash of light they were airborne and moving slowly and purposefully towards the villa.‭
“What can we do Sam‭?”‬ Even Admiral Stig was at a loss as to what to do.‭
Sam was about to speak when there was a gentle tapping on his shoulder.‭ ‬As he turned,‭ ‬all he saw was a long thin metal body and he had to crane his neck to see the head which was over a metre and a half above his head‭!
“Zebedee‭!" ‬uttered a stunned Sam,‭ “‬How‭ ‬did‭ ‬you get out of my workshop,‭ ‬and‭…‬” Sam stared behind the Robo diver,‭ “‬…where did‭ ‬they all come from‭?”‬
Behind Zebedee were at least a hundred other tall,‭ ‬skinny android robodivers,‭ ‬all standing firmly to attention and demanding what they should do next from their commanding officer,‭ ‬Sam Marsh‭!
“You built them Sir,‭”‬ replied Zebedee,‭ “‬don‭’‬t you recall‭? ‬And now we are here to obey your orders.‭”
“Orders‭?”‬ Sam was stunned,‭ ‬he didn‭’‬t remember building a hundred robodivers‭! ‬This felt like a dream,‭ ‬so he pinched himself hard.
‭“Ow!” He yelped.
‭“Sam!” Admiral Stig Berg’s voice snapped Sam out of his daze.
“Sam,‭ ‬look‭!”‬ Stig was pointing.‭
The Spinners‭ ‬had almost reached land now and it was obvious what they would do next,‭ ‬pretty much destroy everyone and everything.‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬except‭ ‬for‭ ‬the canister that contained Herr Krater‭’‬s precious plans,‭ ‬plans that he‭’‬d sent his Spider Tanks to recover in the first place.‭
Thinking quickly Sam rushed and grabbed the steel canister that was lying on the wet grass and held it aloft.‭ ‬He cleared his throat and began to shout up at the Spinners.‭ ‬He knew this was risky but his choices were severely limited‭!
“Don‭’‬t come any closer Grandfather or I will destroy the plans‭!"
The‭ ‬Spinners seemed to ignore Sam and just kept coming.
‭“I am not joking!” Sam tried to sound as brave as he could but inside he was terrified. If his plan went wrong everyone around him would die.
“Last warning Grandfather‭!"
Suddenly the Spinners stopped moving forward and just hovered fifty metres above the ground.‭
“Ha‭! ‬I knew you were listening‭!”‬ shouted Sam bravely.
‭“Sam! No!” called Freyer, “He’s pure evil! You can’t bargain with a man like him! He’ll kill you!”
“Sam Marsh‭!”‬ boomed a voice from the Spinners.
‭“Grandfather!" replied Sam.
‭“You can’t bargain with me Sam Marsh!"
“I‭’‬m warning you‭! ‬I‭’‬ll destroy the plans‭!”‬
“Ha‭! ‬Ha‭! ‬Ha‭! ‬You can‭’‬t‭ ‬even open the canister child‭!" ‬snorted Krater.
‭“Don’t bet on it!"
“Terminate them‭!”‬ Krater‭ ‬ordered‭ ‬abruptly and once again the spinners started moving forward again,‭ ‬this time they started charging their primary weapons in readiness for the annihilation that was to follow.‭
Before he could do anything there was another tap on Sam‭’‬s shoulder.‭ ‬Sam turned to find Zebedee and his battalion at action stations and they were now all heavily armed with huge laser canons.‭
“My men are ready Sir‭!”‬ reported Zebedee‭ “‬May I suggest all humans take cover immediately‭!”
“Everyone take cover‭!”‬ shouted Sam.
‭“Take cover everyone!” repeated Stig.


Sam Marsh: The Battle of the Cloudships - Prologue

Prologue:‭ ‬Sunday‭ ‬16th May‭ ‬1943,‭ ‬2.43am,‭ ‬high over the island of Masoy,‭ ‬northern Norway.

‭“The view is beautiful, no?” sighed Sturmbannfuhrer Eric Krater, as he and his trusty technicians stood in the ‘long viking ship’ shaped basket undercarriage of the immense zeppelin they used for their experiments.
“Ja,‭ ‬beautiful,‭ ‬Sir,‭”‬ replied Professor Klaus Jahnke,‭ ‬his trusty sidekick,‭ ‬as he peered down through powerful binoculars at the still ocean ten thousand feet below them.‭
Even though it was still in the wee small hours of the new day,‭ ‬this far north there was barely any darkness as the year fast approached midsummer.‭ ‬They were close to the North Pole and soon it would be daylight for twenty four hours each day.‭ 
The Sturmbannfuhrer,‭ ‬an eminent professor of physics from Berlin‭’‬s oldest university,‭ ‬the Humboldt,‭ ‬had hastily commissioned today‭’‬s early morning test flight as soon as he‭’‬d become aware of the location the Royal Navy‭’‬s new‭ ‬‘V‭’‬ Class submarine,‭ ‬HMS Viper,‭ ‬which was encroaching on his top secret testing facilities at Havoysund,‭ ‬near the Northern Cape,‭ ‬the very northern pinnacle of mainland Europe before the North Pole.
‭“There, there!” yelled the normally implacable Jahnke excitedly, pointing with his spare hand, “The boat is there!”
“Where‭? ‬Oh ja,‭ ‬now I see the periscope‭!”‬ replied Krater.‭
“She is surfacing‭!"
“Order the‭ ‬‘Death Angels‭' ‬to descend at once‭!”‬ shouted‭ ‬Krater.
‭“Aye Sir!” replied Jahnke, reaching for a radio, “Death Angels, DESCEND!”
Within seconds a dozen commando type soldiers,‭ ‬in effervescent white suites and white capes,‭ ‬leapt out of the basket and dived down like falcons towards their prey,‭ ‬the surfacing boat.‭
The men dived like bullets from a gun.‭ ‬Although they were wearing no parachutes they showed no fear.‭ ‬They didn‭’‬t need to,‭ ‬they were flying‭ ‬like birds and had bird like flight control too.‭ ‬As they neared their prey they effortlessly changed their body positions from dive to‭ ‬flat.‭ ‬Their suits seamed to break their descent in an instant.‭ ‬This allowed them to float down and land on the sub‭’‬s deck as silently as if they were feathers.‭
HMS Viper had‭ ‬surfaced.‭ ‬Straight away the‭ '‬Death Angels‭’‬ got to‭ ‬work,‭ ‬clipping powerful limpet mines at key points all around her sleek hull.‭
Nobody on board knew they were even there until the hatch on the tower opened and an oily seaman poked his head out to take his first breath in four days.
‭“Oy!" He yelled at the men in white, “What in Heaven’s name are you lot doing? Chief! Chief! There some men on the deck!”
Without uttering a single word the angels rose majestically.‭ ‬But their ascent was cut devastatingly short as when they‭’‬d reached only fifty feet the mines detonated early.
The explosions‭ ‬were vicious and deadly.‭ ‬Within a second the smooth,‭ ‬majestic hull of the Royal Navy‭’‬s pride and joy was blasted into a million pieces and all the‭ ‬'Death Angels‭’‬ were blown to‭ ‬Heaven.‭

“Drat‭!”‬ said Jahnke who reeled backwards from the shock of it all,‭ “‬I‭ ‬knew‭ ‬the time settings were too short on those mines‭! ‬I knew it‭! ‬Those poor men.‭"
“Ah,‭”‬ grinned Krater philosophically,‭ “‬never mind,‭ ‬maybe we‭’‬ll just give them longer settings‭ ‬next time.‭”‬ He smiled at Jahnke.‭ “‬Actually,‭”‬ he said,‭ ‬grabbing his shoulders,‭ “‬I think we can safely say that today‭’‬s test flight of the flying suit was a real success,‭ ‬Jahnke my friend.‭”
“Success‭?”‬ snorted Jahnke,‭ “‬but we have lost twelve of our‭ ‬best‭ ‬men,‭ ‬Herr Sturmbannfuhrer‭?”‬
“Pfff‭! ‬They died for our‭ ‬cause.‭ ‬Viper is no longer a pest‭…‬and‭ ‬we now know that the suits work,‭”‬ smiled Krater coldly,‭ “‬I would say that was a resounding success,‭ ‬wouldn‭’‬t you‭?”