Berlie at Upton Hall school, Wirral, 2017One of the highlights of my various visits and events this summer has to be when I visited my old school, Upton Hall in the Wirral. I talked to a very bright and enthusiastic group of years 7 and 8 in the school library, which I’m immensely proud to say is named after me!

Berlie stands in front of library named after her, Upton Hall school, WirralHow Green You Are! by Berlie DohertyMy very first book, How Green You Are! is partly set in that school, and my adult novel, Requiem, although set in Ireland, has its main character Cecilia Dearden attending a school that is practically identical to Upton Hall!

Requiem by Berlie DohertyOn the same visit I read extracts from both books at the Wirral Firsts Festival in the West Kirby Arts Centre.

I also took part in a Walk the Write Way charity (Wirral Heartbeat) event with local writers and walkers. It was a 9-mile hike along the beautiful Wirral coastline from New Brighton to West Kirby, again bringing back for me powerful memories, especially as two of the walkers who joined us were old school friends from all those years ago. Early memories, especially of schooldays, are very potent, and many authors find inspiration there.

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