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Best-selling author visits Academy on the day of her latest book release

Our lucky students met best-selling author Cathy Cassidy on the day her latest book was released.

Our lucky students met best-selling author Cathy Cassidy on the day her latest book was released.

Cathy is one of the biggest names in the world of young adult fiction and she spent yesterday afternoon with our Year 7 and 8 students and with students from 10 other local schools.

She talked about her career, how she writes and researches her stories, she read extracts from her books and was quizzed by our students during a lively question and answer session.

She also spent about an hour meeting her excited fans and signing books for them, including copies of her new book, Fortune Cookie.

Cathy said: “Fortune Cookie is the final book in my Chocolate Box Girls series and it’s bittersweet for me because I’m saying goodbye to the series but I’m very happy with the book.

“It’s lovely to be in a school on the book’s birthday because I’m spending the day with my readers.

“I always get inspiration when I visit schools because it’s inspiring to spend time with the people you write for.”

During her talk Cathy told the students about the need to value creativity, imagination and day dreaming.

She said: “My biggest inspiration for writing is day dreaming and I think it’s something we should be encouraged to do more of. Creativity is illusive and we need to value it.

 “We need to switch off the front part of our minds that deal with everyday things to give our imagination the chance to shine.

“Day dreaming is never wasted time and I know that for a fact because I get paid to do it. Authors pull ideas from their day dreams and put them on paper. If you are lucky enough to be a published author you can share those day dreams with people all around the world.”

The former Queen of Teen award winner also talked about the beginning of her writing career.

She said: “When I was young I used to read a magazine called Jackie and I spent most of my teenage years bombarding it with stories.

“I sent hundreds and hundreds of stories and every single one came back with a very polite letter saying Jackie was very sorry but they didn’t think my story was suitable but if I had any other stories they would like to see them. That last sentence always gave me hope and I kept going.

“Eventually it paid off and another magazine published one of my stories when I was 16 – I felt like a proper author.”

During her early career Cathy went to work for Jackie magazine and eventually became its Fiction Editor.

She was also Shout magazine’s Agony Aunt for 12 years before she published her first book, Dizzy in 2004.

Since then she has sold more than 2million copies of her books, including Looking Glass Girl which was released earlier this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.

Just days before her visit Cathy also released Chocolate Box Secrets which is a scrapbook of fun, creative ideas from the Chocolate Box Girls.

CBA Librarian Amy McKay said: "We were delighted that Cathy chose CBA to visit.

"It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to meet a much-loved author and they all thoroughly enjoyed the event."

To see pictures from Cathy’s visit to CBA click here

(Cathy is pictured with her new book in our Main Theatre)