Diana Shaw

I’m a retired teacher with a passion for writing. I suppose the desire to write a book has been simmering under the surface for many years – probably since I won a copy of The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico in a writing competition. I was about ten years old.

As a full-time primary school teacher, writing stories became a hobby for when I had time to spare. I enjoyed encouraging the children with their reading and writing. When I retired I began to devote more time to my writing. I decided you’re never too old to have a go!

In 2007 I read an article in a writing magazine about a small publishing company in York. They published my first book for children in 2008. Septimus Smythe and the Spectre Detectors heralded my first short series. The funny ghost stories are about some ghosts that haunt at a castle to entertain the tourists! Why ghost stories? Well, I thought having my ghosts perform all sorts of haunting tricks would be fun and give plenty of scope for my imagination. I tell my stories from the ghost’s point of view – a different slant from many stories I’ve read.

I’m all in favour of ‘a book in your hand’ and I spend a lot of time in bookshops talking to children about my favourites and theirs. As a child, I enjoyed The Borrowers by Mary Norton and adventure stories like Treasure Island. Today, my favourite author for children has to be Michael Morpurgo. I love it when children want to read my books of course, but if ghosts aren’t their thing I’m happy to recommend other stories. I’ve had a few adventures in bookshops.

I visit lots of schools too. I’ve held workshops with children and it’s great when they are so enthusiastic about writing. They always want to ask me lots of questions about being a writer. (They often have a fascination with your age too and want to know if you’re famous.)


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