GRAHAM MASTERTON’S VISIT IN CHILD’S HOME IN GÓRZEC
Literatura II Strzelin 2014, Stowarzyszenie Sztukater
Graham Masterton, British writer of horrors and thrillers, visited Poland this time with a mission of raising money for Child’s Home in Górzec near Strzelin. He was invited by non-profit Sztukater Society that organizes cultural events and more importantly takes culture, especially literature, into places that are away from big cultural centers. Graham Masterton is known for his work for various charities and decided that children from this particular home could use some of his help. He kindly agreed to join various Polish authors involved in the project and accepted invitation to the event LiteraTura II. Besides his meetings with readers, signing books and talking with people during the three day event, he was most interested in visiting the Child’s Home and its charges – especially because he has seen them “creatively messing around” on Saturday’s workshop with Katarzyna Georgiou, the author of the books “Strefa Bałaganu” and “Funky Poems Treasury”, in the vincinity of the Town’s Tower, where all the author meetings took place.
The children from the Child’s Home in Górzec, had a chance to meet Graham informally as he talked with them during the workshop of creative constructing, showing interest in their work and taking pictures of their constructions. After that, he has got invitation to visit their home, what took place on Sunday afternoon, on August 24th. The principal, Agnieszka Tekiela, presented Graham with the Certificate of Appreciation and organized the meeting with the children. As a principal, she gave the permission to publish the photos from our visit there. Most of the pupils already knew the Master of Horrors, however they were still unsure and kind of edgy at the beginning. The ice was broken with the first story that Graham Masterton told them and I had a pleasure of translating.
An educational horror for the kids! It was the first for me too ;) The children also listen with the rapt attention to the shortest horr-story about the little boy in and under the bed scarred of the little boy under and then in bed, while his daddy tried to figure out what’s going on. I just learned a bit about Graham Masterton that you cannot find in his biography. He is an exceptional storyteller and an actor as well, what can be seen on the picture below – the kids were mesmerized by the changes of his voice and attentive to the spoken word. I had fun following his lead in this performance.
Graham told them about things that he considers important in life – like following our dreams and getting up and go forwards when the life does not treat us well. Then, all of a sudden, one of the boys came with the little notebook and asked Graham for the autograph. Not only did he got it, but a great drawing of himself too in a sort of a cartoon a la Masterton ;)
After that, all the kids went into line and asked for the pictures – no one was sent away! All the children present got a “one of a kind” gift from the British writer. It was amazing, really, to see how easygoing person Graham is and how skilled in managing the youngest audience.
At the end of the visit the group photos were taken. And honestly, I have no idea whom do we want to frighten judged by the expressions from the second photo ;)
Then we went upstairs to see children’s rooms and took the tour of the whole object, looking at the dining and common areas and also apartments for the young adults who learn there to manage their own household before leaving Child’s Home and returning to society. The kids readily showed Graham their toys, games and décor. And they actually cleaned their rooms spic and span in preparation for such a guest’s visit ;)
I am sure, that this special visit and meeting with a famous and full of humor writer will stay in children’s memory for a long time. In my memory, Graham Masterton will be pictured drawing heroes for the boys and princesses and witches for the girls :) I liked and never forget the happy smiles on kids faces that those pictures brought to shine.
It was enormous learning experience and a pleasure to get to know one of the British authors from the sensitive side in all the horrors served us by life. Thank you Graham Masterton. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Written by Katarzyna Georgiou