Heroes, villains and a classic tale celebrating its 100th anniversary inspired author Andy Briggs who has written books, graphic novels and screenplays and whose latest work brings Tarzan into the 21st century.
He gave a presentation to Year 7 students, talking about the diversity of writing opportunities available before introducing his novels. His first series of books was hero.net and villain.com, where heroes and villains download superpowers from the internet and battle for supremacy. Others include the forthcoming graphic novel Dinocorps and two Tarzan Books – The Greystoke Legacy and The Jungle Warrior. He sought permission from the family of author Edgar Rice Burroughs before reworking the story for a modern audience, complete with animal trafficking and deforestation. A donation from his book sales will be donated to the ‘Year of the Ape Campaign’, run by EAZA the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
Andy spoke for an hour to Year 7s, including students from Lodge Park and Corby Business Academy, and ended with a survival quiz where students had to choose escape strategies to evade jungle dilemmas such as quicksand, gorilla attack and food poisoning. Afterwards he spent time signing books and posing for photographs. He also led a writing workshop with students from years 8 to 11, where they had to make an original story up from a single page from a graphic novel.
Afterwards Andy said: ‘I have been a writer since my A Levels but it is only since 2005 that I have been able to become a full time writer and now I write books, comics and for films and television shows. I also do lots of school visits.
‘The best thing about being a writer is that you get the chance to do things you will never have the opportunity to do again. I travel to places I never thought I would ever go on assignments and research trips. I come to schools, which is hugely inspirational. When you meet the students, meeting different characters, you think I could use him or her in a book; that is a lot of fun.’
Librarian, Mrs Adams said:' I wanted an author who would really inspire the students, and Andy’s enthusiasm for creating stories was catching. His descriptions of his television writing work were illuminating, and I loved the atmospheric jungle quiz and his obvious passion for the environment.'