I have done lots of events and school visits on the theme of my book 'One Boy's War' . Recently I carried out a six week residency with my author-plus-textiles-artist hat on. We made a banner with a class of Year Six pupils and a group of older village residents as part of an inter-generational project.
It really felt like my book was being read in its 'natural habitat,' because the boy in the story was from a small mining village in County Durham, and the school I was based at was in a mining village in rural Gateshead.
The village takes heritage very seriously, and history stands side by side with modern life. The past is remembered, and valued - and the people are celebrated.
We chose a banner, because the Chopwell miners banner is so celebrated and well known.
I started the project by reading the story and talking about the First World War, encouraging the children to handle artifacts to bring history to life.
Working together, the older folks and pupils wet felted a poppy each to hang from the banner.
The group discussed and sketched out designs and we worked over the weeks to produce the different aspects of the banner in fabric. The older ladies were experienced with needlework and this really helped the children to realise their ideas.
It was immensely satisfying - and humbling - as an author to quite literally see 'all ages' enjoying my story and working together on the theme.