We have a real author on the GBA team!
Meet Dawn Gelston, primary teacher and author of Felicity Flipflops. She has availability for English and creative writing group and 121 sessions now!
Tell us about yourself.
I am from Northern Ireland and I have recently returned home from living in Dubai. I have taught children in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates and I have really enjoyed getting to know other cultures and having the opportunity to teach children from various backgrounds.
In my spare time, I love to write and I have recently published my first children’s book. I visit schools to talk about the theme of my book, emotional wellbeing, something I am very passionate about and feel can have a great impact on children’s academic success.
I am an aunt to five nieces and two nephews and I enjoy spending time with them, getting outdoors, walking and keeping fit. I have a good sense of humour, love to laugh and eat chocolate (perhaps a bit too much). I am positive, hardworking and motivated, and I love my job as a teacher.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love helping children build confidence and belief in themselves and to develop a mindset where they understand that they can achieve anything. I enjoy building relationships with children and teaching them in interactive, engaging ways, having lots of fun along the way
Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it
Felicity Flipflops, is a story of a young 11-year-old girl named Felicity who is in foster care. She faces many challenges in life and when she starts a new school and is faced with uncertainty at how people will perceive her. It is a humorous story of friendship and empathy, underpinned with elements of emotional wellbeing, which is so significant for young people growing up in today’s society.
I wrote the book to inspire children to write and develop a love of literature. I wanted readers to really get something from the positive themes and messages throughout the book; we should accept others for who we are and believe in ourselves. The story has several strong characters, who are encouraged to talk about their feelings and to stand up for what they believe in.
Who is your favourite author and why?
My favourite author is Roald Dahl. From a young child, I was captivated by his many iconic characters and his storytelling masterpieces. He creates characters who we all can relate to and I love how his work is enjoyed by people of all ages; I think that’s how all stories should be.
Any top tips for any aspiring authors at GBA?
My top tip would be that, when creating characters, think about them as being ‘real’ people even if they are half-human or creatures. When planning them, give them backgrounds, families and interests. This will help you develop your character and anticipate how they will behave in different scenarios, treat others and what their perspectives will be.
Secondly, I would say to use dialogue with a purpose. It should be used to help develop the action in your story or to show a character’s personality.
I am a huge fan of the ‘show not tell’ technique, too; it helps keep readers fully engaged in the story.
To book a lesson with Dawn, including a fabulous course based on Felicity Flipflops, please email email@example.com