Brian Falkner came to Hong Kong as part of the 11th Hong Kong Literature Festival with the Hong Kong Public Library. Students from Years 7 and 8 were privileged to attend exciting presentations by this award-winning author on Friday, 11 March 2016 here at the School. He spoke of how his love of writing started when he was 10 years old and came to fruition 30 years later with his first published book in 2003.
Brian’s books are based on real life situations that for him were life-changing events. His story of the swarm of wasps had us all on the edge of our seats. Brian’s book, Maddy West and the Tongue Taker, is about a girl who can speak all the languages of the world fluently. To end his presentation, Brian told the students if they could name a country in whose language he was unable to say hello, they could win a free book. Students named countries left and right to no avail as Brian repeatedly said hello for all of them. He later said in all of his talks he had only given away two books.
Year 9 students had the opportunity to hear Brian share his writing methods. He emphasised how to develop a hook to get the reader interested; the usual structure of many stories; the importance of interesting characters and how to develop an outline. Even Brian’s writing instructions were entertaining with his illustration using Red Riding Hood. In all, a fantastic visit.
Marc Tyler Nobleman
On Wednesday 9 March 2016, Marc Tyler Nobleman spoke about his adventures while researching the creators of Superman, to write the book, Boys of Steel, and the creators of Batman, while writing the book, Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, only two of his 80 books.
The Library arranged for Years 3-6 students to meet this non-fiction author who loves to research things that cannot be found by searching with a computer or looking in a book. Marc made the analogy for students saying, “If my body were all of the information in the world, what can be found on the internet is one hair on my head.” He also compared doing research to playing hide and seek.
Marc’s research involved visiting people who knew the creators, traveling to their hometowns and high schools as well as digging into photograph and newspaper archives and even death records. He located Bill Finger’s wife, a best friend and a grandchild. One of the results of all of Marc’s research efforts was DC comics’ recently changed the credits for Batman to read, “Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.” Previously, Bill Finger was not mentioned. The students thoroughly enjoyed listening to Marc Tyler Nobleman and they asked a range of very thoughtful and interesting questions.