Combined book launch is set to inspire young writers
Twelve-year-old Kapiti author Ben Spies and children’s author and tutor Helen Vivienne Fletcher from Wellington join forces to launch their books in a fun filled, family friendly event celebrating young talents.
Many twelve-year olds love to read novels, but not many can say that they have written and published their own. Ben Spies’ debut book, “Weirdo”, was written when he was just nine years old. His second book, “The Magic Pencil”, followed soon after at age ten, and at eleven the young author wrote his third book, “The World of Greek Mythology”. Ben says he has no plans of stopping there.
Helen Vivienne Fletcher is a children's and young adult author, spoken word poet, playwright and creative writing tutor. She's published two young adult novels - "Broken Silence" and "Underwater" - a short story collection for adults, and three picture books for children. Her latest book, "The Trespassers Club" is her first mid-grade novel.
What do these two authors have in common? The passion to nurture and inspire young writers to follow their footsteps. Helen had been successfully running Brain Bunny Workshops, a business offering creative writing classes and holiday programmes for children, since 2011. When Ben’s mum, Renata Spies, started looking for writing activities, she was excited to find Brain Bunny. “I found that there are many activities out there related to sports, music, dance and arts for children, but not enough writing ones to choose from. How do you reward, nurture and recognise a child who wants to write? Brain Bunny Workshops has been instrumental in Ben’s writing journey. Helen createsa fun, friendly environment where creativity is actively encouraged while instilling a love for storytelling.”
In this digital age, Ben wants to inspire children to read with his books. He also wants other budding authors to realize their dreams and write their own stories. If he can do it, so can they. His new book, “The World of Greek Mythology” was inspired by the young authors’ love for the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. “I’m so excited to publish “The World of Greek Mythology”. Since reading the “Percy Jackson” series, I started developing a huge interest in the Greek myths, gods and heroes. I began researching the myths when I came home after school and reading any books I could get from the library that would help me, especially books about the Trojan War and Odysseus’ epic journey - one of my favourite chapters in my book. It’s great to have a book launch with Helen as she was also the editor for my book.”
“The Trespassers Club” is Helen’s first mid-grade novel and takes inspiration from her own childhood. “Trespassers Club was a game the kids in my neighbourhood used to play,” she explains. “The goal was to “trespass” in other people’s gardens without being seen. I loved the name and thought it would make a great title for a book. The story is partly set in an abandoned house, which is based on a real one from the street I grew up in.” She also finds inspiration in her students. “Running classes for children, like Ben, inspires me as much as it does them. They have such great ideas and look at the world in their own unique way. It’s great to be able to encourage that passion. I was really honoured Ben asked me to edit his book, and I think children are going to love it. I’m excited to be launching our books together.”
The combined Book Launch will take place on the 18th of November at the Raumati South Hall, in Tennis Court Road, Kapiti Coast, between 1.30pm and 4pm. Guests will have the chance to ask questions, chat with the authors, or get their books signed. There will also be face painting, crafts, a treasure hunt, colouring-in competition and a sausage sizzle.