Time School by Nikki Young ** Blog Tour Guest Post**

I am so happy to welcome Nikki Young to Cat and Mouse Reading today to talk about her life as a writer. Before we meet her, here's a little about her latest book,Time School.

A power cut and a series of mini disasters means friends, Jess, Nadia, Tomma and Ash barely make it to the station to catch their train to school. What they find is a far cry from the usual packed commuter train they're expecting... When they arrive at Hickley School, the children are surprised to find some of the buildings missing and they don't recognise any of the other pupils, who are all dressed in a different style of uniform. The only person who takes the time to help them is Martha, despite being preoccupied by her own worries about her family being hungry and not hearing from brother, Henry whom she says is away fIghting. The children soon realise this is no normal day and it's not until they return home that they're able to figure out what happened. What they don't know is whether it was a one-off day, or if they will get to see Martha and the other pupils again. Jess hopes so. She has something she needs to tell Martha. Not knowing how or why, she feels a connection and an obligation to this girl she can't explain.

Welcome to Cat and Mouse Reading....Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.

1.       Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

Thank you for having me.
I’m a mum of three, originally from West Yorkshire, but have lived in Kent for the last 20 years. I worked in various roles before I became a stay-at-home mum, but they all had a writing element, so when I came through the fog of child rearing and wanted to get back into working, freelance writing felt like a natural step for me and one that fitted around my family. I’ve been blogging and working as a copywriter for the last seven years, whilst doing my fiction writing on the side.

 2.       What is it about writing for children and young readers which attracts you?

The stories I read as a young girl were the ones that inspired me and stayed with me right through to my adult life. Becoming a mum reminded me of this, especially when my daughter struggled to read and was completely uninspired by the reading scheme books she brought home from school. When I dug out my old books from my mum’s loft and read them to her, she began to understand how wonderful stories could be and this inspired her to start searching them out for herself. Writing for this age group is so important and I wanted to be able to inspire and encourage children to enjoy stories in the way I did.

3.  Time School is the first in a planned series of four. Why did you decide to write a series and have you got the four stories planned out?

The original plan for Time School was that it had endless potential for exploring different time periods through history. However, each of the four children has a connection to the school and it’s past, which they discover in the stories,  along with learning something about a significant moment in history at the same time. It made sense, as I was planning the series, to keep them as four separate stories.

I do have them all planned out. Book two, is Nadia’s story. I have this back from my editor, so it’s almost ready. Book three is about Ash and I’ve written a first draft of this one and Tomma’s story is still in my head at the moment!

4. Without spoiling the plot, could you let us know a little about Time School?

The children are in their first year of secondary school and will learn more about themselves, their school, It’s history and their connection to it, than they could have ever thought possible. The series is about understanding the past and how it relates to the present, as well as how history shapes our lives and that of our families. Book one goes back to the early 1900’s, not long after the school was first opened.  It’s around the time of a very significant moment in our history at the end of the First World War and one the children are lucky to experience first hand. At the same time, it is a real eye-opener for them about the struggles of people at that time.

5. Could you tell us a little about your Storymakers Creative Writing Club?

I originally started out by offering creative writing workshops to the children who were due to sit secondary school entrance exams and wanted a bit of extra practice for this element of the tests. This quickly spread to a demand for other workshops and that led to weekly classes to help younger children who were struggling or reluctant to write.

I now have three groups, one that focuses on story-writing, another that explores lots of different writing styles and a third, exclusively for older children (11 and above).

6. If you hadn’t become an author, what would you have done instead as a creative outlet?

My son is dairy and gluten intolerant and although we now have more choice, is hasn’t always been the case. As such, I started a blog a few years ago specifically to document his journey to full health and how we manage this as a family. I love to create recipes, so I’ve included a lot of them on this blog, as well as health information and reviews of restaurants and hotels. I have a degree in nutrition and a long time ago, worked in product development, so this is still a big passion of mine. I use my writing to raise awareness of the importance of catering for food intolerances, particularly acknowledging that many people have more than one they have to deal with and how difficult this can be.

7. Which children’s authors did you enjoy reading as a child and why? 

I was a huge Enid Blyton fan and I also loved Roald Dhal and Beverley Cleary. As a young teen, I embraced any Judy Blume book I could get my hands on!

8. Finally, have you three words which sum up Time School?

This is a tough one. If you had given me a sentence-worth of words, I would have said ‘history through the eyes of one building’, but as it’s only three words, I guess I would say ‘past & present, collide’. Is that cheating?

Thanks so much for joining us today. Roll on Book 2!

                                                                  About the Author

Nikki Young is a writer and lover of stories and ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants’ is her first book. Nikki credits her lively imagination to an amazing childhood, growing up in Yorkshire and living in a cul-de-sac in the days when children were allowed to run free and left to make their own fun! Now a mum of three, she says that in her head, she hasn’t really grown up and those memories of her childhood days remain strong and active.

You can follow Nikki here: Website   |  Twitter

Book links: Amazon UK 

Follow the rest of the tour!


 Thanks to Nikki Young and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a place on the tour.


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