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Visit by author M A Bennett thrills Third Years

Third Year pupils listened intently as author M A Bennett delivered an entertaining and engaging talk in the Hallam Hall.

During her talk she announced that S.T.A.G.S, a story that champions outsiders and questions out-dated viewpoints in a constantly evolving world, has been picked up by 21st Century Fox to be adapted for the screen and that The Hunger Games screenwriter Peter Craig was on board.

The Manchester-born Yorkshire-raised novelist, whose books include The Island and D.O.G.S, as well as S.T.A.G.S, engrossed the audience as she talked about her school and university life, her career to date and her books.

The ‘Stories, Schooling and S.T.A.G.S’ talk allowed the audience to become aware of how she came up with her ideas for her novels.

She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialised in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as a historical source. By studying at institutions with awe-inspiring buildings and traditions, she was inspired to create schools, like J K Rowling’s Hogwarts, complete with houses, uniforms and emblems as a backdrop to her stories.

The talk was the first author visit of 2020 and a host of eager pupils descended on the Library at lunchtime to ask her further questions about her stories and inspiration and to get signed and custom-stamped books.

Speaking of M A Bennett’s visit, pupil Jack Purves said: “I was interested to see how her life affected what she wrote. For example, in S.T.A.G.S she looks at the different classes of people and how the environment they are in can make people equal.

“I would be keen to watch the film when it is made as it would be intriguing to see how the book has been interpreted. I like writing and being creative and I was impressed by the author’s ideas on what to write.”