A BESTSELLING children’s author shared her secrets and passion for writing with gifted young writers.

Julie Bertagna held workshops with pupils at SS Peter & Paul RC College, Widnes, and St Chad’s RC School, Runcorn, as part of Halton’s Talkwrite Festival.

She is promoting her new book, Aurora, the conclusion of her trilogy about creating a dystopian universe.

Scottish-born mum, Julie, from Glasgow, said: “All my life I’ve read and dreamed up stories.

“Sometimes, as a child, I didn’t know which world I was really living in - the dream story world in my head or the real one.

“The stories that spark my imagination are about individuals on the edge, on the cusp of change.

“But I always begin with a strong sense of a particular landscape or place. My characters and theri stories are rooted in and grow out of that.”

Kris Dooley, curriculum and assessment co-ordinator for English at SS Peter & Paul RC College, said: “Julie was an inspiration to the students.

“It was wonderful to see her love of literature being passed on.

“The work that has followed on from this visit is superb.”

English teacher, Victoria Goode, said; "It was wonderful to see the students so engaged adn excited about reading this new material."