Author Jasper Cooper, who has topped the Amazon best-seller list, started his writing career by penning bedtime stories for his children. Mr Cooper, a former professional tennis player, spoke to Year 7 students about the ‘Kingdom of Gems’ trilogy, comprising Candara’s Gift, The Silver Well and The Ice Palace.
The trilogy began when Mr Cooper began by telling his children bedtime stories. They requested their favourite one, about the Kingdom of Gems, so often that Mr Cooper wrote it down, then added a new chapter each day until the manuscript numbered 50,000 words and 92 chapters. The document remained on a shelf for ten years until Mr Cooper re-edited it, added more details, illustrations and maps, and that formed the trilogy. On its release in 2006 Candara’s Gift was at the top of the best-seller list for a couple of days and the series has received glowing reviews.
During two visits to Brooke Weston Mr Cooper brought along his illustrations and characters from his book and shared a clip of himself at work in his writing shed, reciting poems and riddles from his books.
He said: ‘I have always loved the fantasy genre and things like Lord of the Rings with magic, excitement and adventure. Although my books are aimed at children adults read it as well and they often say it would make a good film. I am always talking to my wife and children about my stories and my next book, Gordo, is about a monkey and is due out this summer.
'I do everything on my books, writing, editing and the illustrations so when you have your finished book in your hand it is an amazing feeling. The students here were wonderful, very attentive and asked a lot of questions about my work and where I get my ideas from.’
Librarian Mrs Adams said: 'It was fantastic welcoming Mr Cooper to the school, he gave very engaging talks to our students and they enjoyed listening to how he developed and illustrated his tales.'