Fresh from the news he will be rejoining his McFly bandmates in just a few weeks, Tom Fletcher was in Oswestry to promote his latest book, The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch.

The 34-year-old musician and author met with more than 850 schoolchildren in an event organised by Oswestry’s Booka Bookshop.

It was part of a whirlwind tour for Tom, who was joined by the book’s Australian illustrator, Shane Devries.

“The book is the sequel to The Christmasaurus so taking place a year after those events,” explained Tom, “William hasn’t seen the Christmasaurus in a year and Santa shows up at his house and invites him and his family to the North Pole for a tour, so you get to see the inner workings behind the magic of the North Pole a little bit. While he is there he meets this living ice sculpture of the Winter Witch who can freeze and control time and she shows William a glimpse of a future with no Christmas. So then the adventure that William and the Christmasaurus have to stop those events from happening and save Christmas.”

T: “I had been writing picture books for a couple of years and I knew I wanted to write a novel and had written a song called the Christmasaurus and that sparked off the initial idea,” explained Tom. of writing a book about the song and about Christmas, and “Then I had this idea of a boy in a wheelchair being pulled across the sky by a dinosaur, like Father Christmas’ reindeer pull his sleigh, and I thought that was interesting; two characters, how did they meet, where are they going, what are they doing? and that set me off.

“I had nothing more than that initial image and it’s amazing to see that image brought to life by Shane.”

Shane added: “This is fourth book that we have done together. First one Christmassaurus.“I usually get a draft somewhere along the way. Usually there’s a few changes but mostly it’s there. First stop characters , then full brief and away we go. “It’s so easy to do these books because the characters are so visual. The way Tom describes things, it’s about choosing what to leave out.”

“It works both ways,” said Tom, “Stuff will come back when Shane has designed something that doesn’t quite match the text but rather than if what Shane’s done is better so it’s like, yeh, we’ll change the text!”

As part of the visit Tom performed some songs from the book, while Shane did some quick sketches, and the pair took questions from the audience.

Tom added: “T: “I do tend to test ideas out on them. My eldest is five, three and one, more so the picture books, but they are brutally honest. But it’s good to test ideas out on them first, themes, characters, and so on. “When it’s published it’s kind of a weird thing because you’ve been working on it for a year or so, usually not being able to talk about it, so seeing it in people’s hands is a surreal experience. But coming into schools is really fun. I’ve been in a band for 16 years and it’s terrifying going into a school hall with 800 kids. It’s a lot easier going on stage at Wembley because kids are honest.”

“It’s been amazing for me to see him doing his drawings live, and see how easy he makes it look which it definitely isn’t.

“Some songs in it, not recorded them yet.

“Kind of both. It’s going to put my time management skills to the test next year with the band, books and kids, so we will see, try to squeeze it all in.”

Doing some drawing, Tom signing songs, reading, Q&A

Shane flew in Tuesday, quick turn around, only met for the first time last week, always communicated via email