I also know, having seen a few school author visits from the other side, just how valuable they can be. And as a Patron of Reading I get to hear from the teachers of the longer-term effects of visits. The excitement and chatter generated by a visit, and the increased levels of reading and talking about books, are noticeable for weeks afterwards.
I do wish, though, that schools thought about books and authors on the other 39 weeks of the academic year. There are lots of us out there who are happy to come and inspire children at any time - whether it's in September, January or July!
Cecilia Busby writes fantasy adventures for children aged 7-12 as C.J. Busby. Her latest book, The Amber Crown, was published in March by Templar.
"Great fun - made me chortle!" (Diana Wynne Jones on Frogspell)
"A rift-hoping romp with great wit, charm and pace" (Frances Hardinge on Deep Amber)