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Grandmother celebrates as children's fantasy tale The History Sphere proves a hit in Maidstone primary schools

A grandmother who finally published a story that had been in her head for years is inspiring the next generation of creative writers by taking her book into schools.

Kathy Elkins released The History Sphere at the end of 2016 under the pseudonym Katy Chalk, having been inspired to write a story for her now 11-year-old granddaughter, Olivia.

However, when husband Peter proofread the book - a fantasy adventure tale that centres on historical events - he encouraged her to look for publishers, and a deal was eventually struck with 2QT Limited, an independent press based in North Yorkshire.

Kathy Elkins, writing as Katy Chalk, with granddaughter Olivia Elkins, 12.
Kathy Elkins, writing as Katy Chalk, with granddaughter Olivia Elkins, 12.

Since its release, the book has received widespread acclaim, with a host of five-star reviews on Amazon.

But Mrs Elkins decided to take it further, and has spent the last few months visiting primary schools around the county town to encourage reading and offer advice to pupils.

The 69-year-old, of Warmlake Road, Chart Sutton, said: “I’m interested in encouraging children to use their imagination, so I’ve been in to nine schools in the last six months and so far it’s been very successful.

“Getting pupils to use writing to express how they feel is something that schools are quite keen on at the moment, but they need different methods they can draw upon to do it.

“During the talk, I give tips and read little bits from the book which I think they might find exciting or interesting.

“We also try and bring Olivia in with us when we can, which helps engage the children because it’s like they’re meeting the main character, as well as the author.

“At the moment it’s mainly been around the Maidstone area, but we’re looking to go further afield towards Medway, Canterbury and Ashford over the next few weeks.

“Even if I’ve just helped one child to write better than they were before, then it’s a success.”

Email katychalkpr@gmail.com to book a visit.

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