It looked like a perfect event to organise. An award-winning children's author had set her latest book around Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, and wanted to come to the area to launch the title.
But Harriet Goodwin was visiting when the state schools had a PD day, and the private schools were breaking up for half term. Not one school could send pupils to Sutton Hoo for the event!
Fortunately Harriet travelled down to the area earlier in the week, so we managed to arrange for her to go into one of the local primary schools to talk about 'Gravenhunger'.
Dressed casually in jeans and T-shirt, Harriet looked fairly unassuming. She told the children she was a mother of four and a professional singer, who made time to write by not having a television in the house and not doing any ironing! The adults in the room may have been more interested in this insight into household affairs and priority-setting, but no one could fail to take notice when Harriet demonstrated her singing ability. Classically trained, she showed the children how she would warm up her voice before a performance. They all had to put their fingers in their ears, such was the volume of her voice. Stunning.
For 30 minutes, Harriet spoke in depth about the writing and publishing process for her first book 'The Boy who Fell Down Exit 42'. It was very interesting, but I was getting increasingly more fidgety, thinking she needed quickly to move on to 'Gravenhunger' - the book I had brought along in large quantities to sell, and with the link to the history of Sutton Hoo as the reason she had been invited into the school. I needn't have worried, though, as Harriet had paced her talk perfectly. By its conclusion, the children were stumbling over each other to buy their copy of 'Gravenhunger' and have it signed by the author.