July is a busy time for school visits, and I was out and about quite a lot at the beginning of the month. I did a mini tour in Worcestershire, visiting Stourport High School, where the students were joined by pupils from King Charles 1 High School and Wolverley High School. I also visited Christopher Whitehead Language College, and talked to students from Chantry High School, Tenbury High School and Hanley Castle High School. The next day I was in Redditch, at Arrowvale Community High School, and in Birmingham at Woodrush Community High School. Then I was off to Nottingham High School for Girls. I don't go out to schools as often as I used to but it is always good to meet and talk to readers. I hope that everyone I spoke to enjoyed my talks and that a few, at least, went on to read one of my books.
July is also the time when I go to Charney Manor in Oxfordshire (see pic above) on a kind of writers' retreat. A bunch of us get together to talk, discuss, write or just hang out in the lovely grounds. I've been going for about eight years now and always have a wonderful time. It is a great way to unwind (even if my team was trounced in the quiz this year).
I'm off to Greece for a couple of weeks (a different kind of unwinding). I'm being strict about books to take because of weight restrictions, and am not taking a laptop. I might do some writing, but in longhand, which will be odd, because I always use a computer, but sometimes it's good to work in a different way.