Central to this year’s ‘Excellence in English’ week in St Killian’s College was a visit from novelist, screenwriter and former journalist, Colin Bateman.
Author of numerous children’s titles, ranging from his debut novel, divorcingJack to the recent Titanic 2020, Colin arrived at Garron Tower on Monday 11 May to instruct and entertain Year 9 pupils and their teachers.
He began with a witty and interesting account of his progress towards a full-time career as a writer: his childhood fascination with Lord of the Rings; the expression of his personality through the telling of stories, his own and other people’s; his pleasure in playing with words, illustrated by the metamorphosis of the composer’s name Dvorak into ‘divorcing Jack.’ This was followed by a short reading from Titanic 2020, its racy Belfast idiom showing his masterly ear for dialogue. Finally came a lively question – and – answer session, with Colin responding carefully and seriously to a wide range of questions from pupils and staff.
As they trooped happily back to class, the Year 9 pupils were uniformly positive and enthusiastic about the visit. After all, it is not every Monday morning that one meets a real-life writer!