Meeting young readers is one of the best parts of my job. I learn a huge amount from talking to teens, and always come away from school visits bursting with ideas!

Below is some further information on my event, including tech and travel requirements. If you are interested in booking me for a school visit, or have any further questions about the process, please feel free to drop me a line at


What sort of event do you deliver?
My school event is a 45-60 minute presentation entitled You Have To Start Somewhere. The aim is to communicate to students that, no matter their goals in life, the secret to success is hard work, perseverance and learning from their mistakes. The talk is based on my touring experiences with pop/rock band The Lightyears, which took us from the schoolyard to Wembley Stadium and eventually inspired me to become a novelist. The event will be a mixture of live music, slides and anecdotes, and I like to encourage regular input from the students, where possible! If time allows, I'll also deliver a reading from Songs About a Girl (though this tends to be more effective with smaller groups).

What size audience are you happy to present to?
Any size, in theory, although the event is most effective with an audience of 30-150, as this allows for interaction and discussion. In order to reach as many students as possible, I am very happy to deliver the presentation three times in one day. Alternatively, for larger groups (e.g. whole school assemblies), the duration of the event would need to be reduced to around 30 minutes.

Which age groups do you work with?
Again, in theory, any age group at secondary level. However, the Songs About a Girl trilogy is best suited to Years 7-10.

What equipment will we need to provide?
I require basic Powerpoint presentation facilities: a large projector screen, a laptop into which I can plug my USB stick, a clicker for moving through slides and, ideally, audio playback. I also require a microphone, preferably wireless, a microphone stand and some kind of basic lectern or music stand for my notes. I don't require any tech support for my guitar or vocals, as I sing and play unplugged.

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What are your travel requirements?
I will be travelling to your school by train, from London. Where appropriate, taxis will need to be arranged to and from the nearest station.

Will you need overnight accommodation?
Only for situations where I am required to be on-site first thing in the morning, and the destination is more than ninety minutes' travel from west London.

Will you sign books?
Absolutely! In fact, it makes a huge difference to me if students are given the opportunity to buy my books in advance, or on the day. If you are able to make arrangements through your local bookshop, I will be more than happy to sign copies after my event.

Most importantly, how do you take your coffee?
Black, no sugar. I like to think that makes me look suave and continental, like James Bond.
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