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‘Erin Hunter’ Author Visits HIES Lower School

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School welcomed author Gillian Philip to speak with students in Grades 3-5 on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Ms. Philip is one of several writers of the Erin Hunter book series, which explores nature, animal fantasy and mythical adventures. 

Ms. Philip, a native of Scotland, discussed the latest release in the Bravelands installment of books called “The Spirit-Eaters.” Set in the African Savanna, the story follows the adventures of several different animal characters including a lion, elephant, baboon and vulture. She read a few excerpts from the new book to the students. 

Ms. Philip discussed how she became a writer and the process of writing a book – working with publishers, planning the plot, developing the characters and then writing the story. She typically writes one-third of the book at a time, reviews it with her publisher, makes revisions and then continues with the next third. The whole process takes several months. She said one of the greatest challenges of creating is just getting started. 

“All you need is the spark to start writing,” Ms. Philip said. 

“It’s important for the students to see that writing is a process and can be a struggle but they shouldn’t ever give up,” Donna Jo Austin, Curtis Library media specialist, said. “Gillian Philip did a wonderful job here.” 

At the end of the visit, students were able to ask questions and meet Ms. Philip to get books signed. The visit was coordinated by Ms. Austin through Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, where Ms. Philip also spoke on Thursday, Feb. 13.