At this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival the Preparatory School sponsored the Island Adventures event,celebrating the stories ofaward-winning children’s author, Kiran Millwood Hargraves. Many boarders and Prep School children attended this fantastic talk; threePrep Schoolpupils were fortunate enough to meet the author and have copies of the books she has writtensigned. One of those lucky pupilsshared her thoughts from the morning’s event.

I started to read ‘The girl of Ink and Stars’ by Kiran Millwood Hargraves because the title and front cover intrigued me. I really liked that in the book there is a lot of mystery so you have to come up with your own conclusion as to what it could mean or be. When I was told I could meet the author I was so excited and nervous that when the day came I could not think about anything else.

The VIP rooms were very warm and felt refreshing after being out in the cold. We wereallowedsome delicious cake and drinks before meeting Kiran, which made us all feel really important. When we walked in all my attention was drawn to her, she looked so happy and relaxed talking on the stageat the sound test. When she noticed us she came down off the stage to greet us, I had lost all my words but everyone else seemed fine talking to her so I plucked up thecourage to ask her to sign my book. So she did and she said to me you must ask me some questions after the show. That’s when people started to come in. In the show she said that it took her around two years to write and edit her book ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’. Iwas shocked,it seemed so perfect when I read it,I thought she had written it on her first attempt.

One phrase she said that made me think was ‘imagination is a muscle’ because it sounded so ridiculous but at the same time I could relate to what she meant. In the end, my question was “who was the hardest character to write about…” and she said Lupe (which is the main character’s best friend). I was surprised as I thought it would be the main character, Isabella. She said Lupe was the hardestto write about, as this character changed her book entirely.