Reader Focus Group Session: 19th May 2011

As a part of my writing process I like to get some test readers to give me their views on what they think about a story, so I asked Janine Maclean, Head of Media Studies at Marsden Heights Community College to recruit a number of her students to help me out. They were given the opportunity to read the manuscript at their leisure and then on Thursday, 19th May 2011, I went down to their new campus to meet and discuss the story with them. I carried out the session as a focus group, with a number of prompts at ready to keep them talking, but allowed them the freedom to discuss their ideas and thoughts as openly as they wanted. They gave me lots of good feedback and food for thought, and I enjoyed the one hour I had with them so much that now I regret not going into the teaching field. I learned a lot from them about Zach Caan that I didn’t know when I was writing his story. The summary of their thoughts is that they really enjoyed the story and pacing, they found that they were quickly hooked into the story and really empathised with Zach because he is so normal and that his observations come across as authentic. The group itself was aged between 15-16 and felt that the ASK fitted better with the 10-13 market, but still found it a good read. The girls enjoyed it as much as the guys did and the favourite character were Zach, Swift (they thought his name was cool and that he was mysterious) and Ted Glory (because he is an arrogant douche bag and fits his role perfectly). The biggest surprise for me though was the fact that they liked the title, i.e. Adventures of Some Kid, because it fit the story and appealed to them as young people. They also said that any grown up who says otherwise are completely out of touch. The group were clear that they want sequels and want Zach to find a ‘crush’. Here is a big shout out and a huge thank you to the ladies and gents from Marsden Heights:

Janine MacLean
Kyrra Simmons
Parveena Akhtar
Paige Wood
Musanna Ahmed
Lauren Gibson
William John Sharp
Jessica Ward
Christopher Tibbs

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