CHILDREN’S fantasy author Marcus Alexander taught young writers from Stroud the secret to overcoming writer's block.

Mr Alexander, the creator of the Keeper of the Realms series, visited Gastrells Primary School to encourage children’s interest in the art of writing.

Pupils from the school in Kingscourt were joined by children from Uplands, Horsley, Stroud Valley, Park Junior, Minchinhampton, Woodchester, Brimscombe, Nailsworth and Avening to take part in the Able Writers programme.

This is a schools scheme that enables gifted and talented children to work with professional poets, authors, scriptwriters, journalists and storytellers.

During his visit to the school on Wednesday, October 16 Mr Alexander told the children how he draws inspiration for his books from his own real life experience.

“I told the pupils about my love of snowboarding, skydiving, parkour and gymnastics and about all the travelling I have done around the world.

“I also gave them some tips on how to beat writer's block. Always go back to your original inspiration, start asking yourself questions about the story and most importantly take a break and remember that writing is supposed to be fun.”

His series of Puffin books include Crow’s Revenge, The Dark Army and the third in the trilogy Blood and Fire which is due to be released in February.