Authors of the future get some useful tips

William Hussey at Skegness Academy. Photo by John Crossland.
William Hussey at Skegness Academy. Photo by John Crossland.
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A VAMPIRE married to a witch and a gypsy who discovers her mother is a Martian were some of the inspirational story ideas devised by students when a local author came to visit.

Popular Skegness-based children’s author William Hussey hosted a workshop at Skegness Academy to prove that writing a novel is not as difficult as the children may have imagined.

He said: “We went through a condensed version of the entire novel writing process based on their own ideas in just 50 minutes.

“Kids tend to be intimidated by the immensity of a book, with its hundreds of pages, dozens of characters and twisting plots lines but I show them that most great stories are really simple one-sentence pitches.”

William, whose Witchfinder trilogy of novels has seen him embark on nationwide tours, giving readings and signing books, is a great believer in the importance of encouraging children to write from a young age and devotes much of his time to hosting workshops in schools.

“When I was at school we didn’t have authors coming to visit and so although I enjoyed writing I thought that novelists were these mystical figures that I could never hope to emulate.

“I try to show them that authors are just as fallible as everybody else and that if they work hard, getting their own book published is not an impossible feat.”

Taking examples from popular stories and films such as Twilight, William demonstrated to the students that the seemingly complicated plots can be unravelled to a relatively simple starting premiss.

Starting with a range of ‘what if’ scenarios, William was able to lead the budding young authors through their own novel writing process, developing plots by creating obstacles for the main character to overcome.

When he’s not mentoring the literary figures of the future, William has found time to write a new series of novels following the success of his Witchfinder trilogy.

Each of the books is based on objects of historical importance onto which he has imposed a supernatural storyline.

The first two novels due for release next year are called Ghost Machine, which is based on Thomas Edison’s first telephone and Jekyll’s Mirror - a modern retelling of the classic tale of the monster within.