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Jacqueline Wilson, Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, May 1
Jacqueline Wilson’s success is clearly due to her ability to relate so well to children.
Despite having sold 25 million copies of her books worldwide, the author took to the stage in an unassuming manner and immediately launched into stories about her favourite teacher at school and how much she had hated maths.
Now as recognisable to her fans as the characters in her books, Wilson, with her cropped hair and many silver rings, talked as frankly and simply as her protagonists which so many young readers have grown to love.
She knows how important it is to have a best friend at school and remembers what it was like to be dressed in “lady-like” clothes by her mother, rather than the fashionable ones she really wanted to wear.
During the event Wilson spoke about her route into professional writing, from becoming the youngest journalist on the Jackie magazine - which was named after her - to where her ideas for stories such as The Story of Tracy Beaker and The Illustrated Mum came from.
Stories from her own life, such as when she spent three months living in the linen cupboard of a busy hostel in Dundee at the age of 17, were told in the same excited tone as her stories.
Much to the delight of the packed Corn Exchange, Wilson also spent 15 minutes answering questions from the audience and the thoughtful answers and encouragement she gave to each child endeared her even more to fans both young and old.