As local stroyteller and author Dan Worsley embarks on his tour of Blackpool Libraries to promote his new book Eric Appleby: Zero to Hero, Dan gives us the scoop on his favourite books and an insight into what it’s like to be the most recognised storyteller in Blackpool:
CM: How do you describe what you do to a stranger? Storyteller? Writer? Educator? Performer?
Dan: I love coming up with the stories and writing the books which is what I left teaching to do. The performance side of things was always part of the masterplan so to combine writing the Impossible Tales and being able to perform them is perfect. I also enjoy writing with children where we use extracts from the books to create writing opportunities. So to answer your question, I guess I cover all those bases!
CM: Did you grow up thinking you would cross the street and someone shouts at your from across the road ‘It’s Dan the Storyman!!!’?
Dan: Haha! I grew up wanting to be a teacher. That was all I ever wanted to do. It was during my time in the classroom that I came up with the story ideas and realised how much I enjoyed writing with the children. I never envisaged things getting to a level where I would be recognised by kids when I’m out and about. I think sometimes they’re left wondering why I’m not wearing the story waistcoat when I’m spotted doing my weekly shop!
CM: You arrive at your local library to borrow some books for your nephew but its 5 minutes before closing time. Which 3 books do you grab off the shelves and why?
Dan: I’d grab any of David Walliams‘ book as his books make me laugh and lots of children tell me they love them too. I think I would try to find ‘Demolition Dad’ by Phil Earle as I read that recently and really enjoyed it. Again, it’s a funny read and I loved the wrestling nostalgia in it. Finally I’d look for a graphic novel. I’ve only recently started to read them and I must say that I absolutely love them.
CM: Same question, but you’re about to go on your holidays and you need something for the beach, which three books and why?
Dan: I’m going to give you three books which are on my to-be-read list. Firstly, ‘Wonder‘ by R J Palacio. I’ve heard great things about this book and I can’t wait to read it. ‘Stonebird‘ by Mike Revell is also on my reading radar after I read some glowing reviews by other authors and knowledgeable book folk on Twitter. Finally, I’d take ‘The Outlaw Varjak Paw‘ by S F Said. I recently read the first book and thoroughly enjoyed it so I’m keen to read the sequel.
CM: In one sentence, from your recent success, what advice would you give to fellow aspiring writers?
Dan: Be resilient and always believe that anything is possible.
CM: What next on the horizon?
Dan: I’m currently editing ‘More Impossible Tales’ which will hopefully be published mid 2016. I’m hoping to make a start on ‘Eric Appleby 2’ next January. Around those projects, I’ll definitely keep going with my school and library visits to deliver author talks, writing workshops and storytelling sessions. Meeting the children and encouraging them to read is what this whole adventure is all about and I’m loving every minute of it.
Dan Worsley is coming soon to a library near you!
Moor Park Library
Saturday 7 November
Saturday 14 November
Saturday 14 November
All events are FREE but please call to book your place as we expect them to fill up fast!
Moor Park Library – 01253 478120
Palatine Library – 01253 478050
Layton Library – 01253 478145
Dan will have his latest book available to purchase at each event for £5 and he is happy to sign each copy.