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Jim Carrington

Who is he?

Jim Carrington, 33, is a teacher at Morden Primary School in Surrey. Last week he published his first novel, Inside My Head, to encourage teenagers to make a stand on bullying. Mr Carrington went into teaching nine years ago, after a stint working in a betting shop and as a mystery shopper.

Was being a mystery shopper inspiring?

"It inspired me in that I didn't want to be a mystery shopper all my life. It was for the post office and not as exciting as it sounds. When I decided to be a writer I took a year out of teaching to do a masters in writing for young people at Bath Spa University."

What's the novel about?

"Bullying. I set it in Norfolk, where I grew up, and thought back to when I was at secondary school and based it on things that happened there. It's a reflection on my teenage years. I chose to base it on a bullying story with three different points of view: the kid being bullied; someone who is a friend and going along with it; then a new person at the school, with fresh eyes and no baggage who steps in to stop it."

Does it make teens tick?

"I read a few of the gruesome bits to young adults. They seemed shocked by them, but they rang a bell because things like that do go on. At my school there was the urban myth that one pupil took a drink out of another's gym bag, spat in it, and then watched the other drink it. I used this scene in my novel."

Lovely. Will your primary pupils read it?

"Just before the Easter holidays I had an impromptu QA session with the Year 6 class. I had to be clear and tell them not to read the book; there is a language (advisory) sticker on the back because it's inappropriate for (young) children. However, the pupils expressed a general interest as I was their teacher. They wanted to know how long it took to write. They were amazed that it took years, when they write something for just 40 minutes to get assessed."

No autographs for the pupils then?

"No, but I have signed a few for teachers. There are some who have gone out and bought copies and they are reading them now. I have heard from a couple of them already and they have said good things."

So what's next?

"I have just finished a second book, which is coming out next year. The plan is to keep teaching and writing. The next story is about some kids that discover a bag full of money. They decide to keep it and the dramas begin."

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