On Thursday, 11th February 2021, our Y7 cohort were lucky enough to spend some time speaking to Joseph Elliott author of ‘The Good Hawk’ and ‘The Broken Raven’. Joseph spoke to our students about how he started his career as an author and as an actor. He discussed his book ‘The Good Hawk’ and read an extract of this book. The students were all very engaged, stated that they could not wait to read his book and that it sounded very exciting. It was lovely to see over 180 students participating in the live author session.
Joseph Elliott is our Book Pen Pal at Ormiston Horizon Academy this year and if any Y7 students would like to ask him any further questions please email Miss Jukes ([email protected]) with your questions and she will pass these on to Joseph.
Year 7 student Millie reflects on the session:
“I really enjoyed the session – it gave us an insight into his life. The session started with us discussing the main characters, Agatha and Jaime. The story is set on a mythical island in Scotland. Agatha is a Hawk. They are brave and fierce and protect their people by patrolling the high walls of the island. She is proud of her job but some people in her clan think that she is not suitable for her job because of the condition she was born with – Downs Syndrome. Jamie (the other main character) is thoughtful and anxious. He is an Angler, but he hates the sea. He was chosen for a job that the clan hasn’t required for generations – he needed to get married. The elders won’t say why they have promised a girl in a neighbouring clan that he will marry her. We then talked about which clan we belonged to and discussed why – I think that I belong to the wrasse clan because they are like the mother of the group and keep the clan neat and tidy. Joseph Elliott explained that the clans allowed the readers to be imaginative about that clan.
His inspiration came from the fact that he had never read a book in which the main characters had a disability he thought that writing the book would bring awareness and allow people to acknowledge that people with a disability can do and excel at the same things as any other person.
We then talked about the design of the front cover; he showed us how it had developed and how it had to be changed to appeal to the target audience. Also, in different places all over the world, the cover is changed because the sellers think that certain designs will sell better in different places.
We also listened to a part of the book which I thoroughly enjoyed and plan to read in the future. We also talked about the process of publishing – it took Joseph over 4 years to finish a copy of the book that he was happy with but it only took 2 hours to print 10,000 copies of the book!
During the session, we touched on his acting career and how he was the cook in Swashbuckle. We then ended the session on asking him questions. Overall, I really enjoyed the session and can’t wait to read his book.”