Children’s author, Caroline Lawrence spent the day at Loughborough Endowed Schools thrilling not only our pupils with tales of Roman times, but also pupils from Thrussington primary school and local home-schooled children.
Caroline spent time with our creative writers, enthusing them with stories of her own career path and her ‘light bulb moments’ that inspired her to write some of her books. Her advice on story structure and examples of where she draws her creativeness from was invaluable to the students.
Later on in the day Caroline appeared on stage dressed resplendently in Roman attire and gave a fascinating and animated insight into the stories behind her books, often hilariously funny and a little bit gruesome!
Caroline kindly did two book signing sessions during the day with queues of fans lining up for a chance to meet her personally – some with several of her novels to sign!
Caroline first made a name for herself in historical fiction with her brilliant Roman Mysteries series, following Flavia Gemina, the daughter of a sea-captain who resides in Ostia, and her three friends Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus, on their adventures solving crimes – and getting into many and varied scrapes along the way. These were set in the Roman port of Ostia and in various other locations around the Roman empire, including Pompeii, Rome, Greece, Turkey and North Africa. In 2009 she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for ‘a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics’; other winners of this award include author Tom Holland, journalist and author Charlotte Higgins, and renowned Cambridge Classicist Mary Beard.
She has since written a second historical detective series – the Western Mysteries, featuring boy detective P K Pinkerton – as well as two books for the Barrington Stoke publishing house, which specialises in books for dyslexic and reluctant readers, based on Books IX and XI of Virgil’s Aeneid.
Her latest series, the Roman Quests, follows the fortunes of three siblings as they flee Rome and travel to Britannia at the furthest reaches of the Empire. Set in the final turbulent years of the reign of the capricious and ruthless Emperor Domitian, the books take readers to famous Romano-British sites including Bath, Chester, York, Cirencester and Londinium. These novels, like those of the Roman Mysteries series, combine fast-moving plots with great historical accuracy and they are set within the same timeframe and locations as the Cambridge Latin Course.
The students were lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy of the first of the Roman Quests novels, Escape from Rome. The Classics and English departments at both schools will be doing follow-up activities based on this novel in the summer term.