Monday, 07 January 2013
Saviour Pirotta was born in Malta, a small island that used to be the favourite haunt of Mediterranean pirates. His parents, both devout churchgoers named him after Jesus.
[Saviour has a brother called Joseph and two aunts called Mary. His father was a carpenter.] With such a name, people expected him to grow up liking Bible stories but, influenced by his granny, he soon developed a liking for pirate and ghost stories, especially the gruesome kind that keep you awake at night. He became fascinated by the pirate lore of the Maltese islands and used to beg people to repeat popular legends over and over again.
At the age of six, Saviour was sent to the local junior school. He didn’t see many books there. There was no library, just a bookcase outside the head teacher’s office, which was always locked. There was no shortage of storytellers in his village, though. They weren’t the professional kind, just ordinary people who sat outside their house on summer nights and chatted creatively until bedtime. After finishing his junior education, Saviour moved on to secondary school, a Jesuit college called St. Aloysius. This school did have a library, a brilliant one, and by the end of the week of the first term, Saviour was hooked on books for the rest of his life. By the time he left the college five years later, he’d decided he was going to be a writer.
In 1982, he moved to England to try and achieve his dream. His first job in the UK was adapting and directing a play based on a Maltese folk tale. Needless to say, it featured pirates. After that he spent eight years working as a storyteller for the Commonwealth Institute, visiting schools and libraries around Britain. His first book, LET THE SHADOWS FLY, was published in 1986. Since then he has written over sixty boos, ranging from novelty titles for toddlers to short novels. SOLOMON’ SECRET, was published in 1985. Since emigrating to the UK Saviour has established himself as a versatile writer with many bestsellers to his record. Saviour writes both fiction and non-fiction. His picture books TURTLE BAY and JOY TO THE WORLD, both published by Frances Lincoln, have also won numerous awards. His work has been translated in fifteen languages.
Saviour also writes as Sam Godwin, focusing on fun science books for the 5- 7 year olds. In 1998 he was awarded the English Association’s Best Non-Fiction Picture Book award for A SEED IN NEED, a first look at the life cycle of a sunflower. The TES called the book and its companion volume, THE DROP GOES PLOP, ‘masterpieces of making difficult concepts clear.’
Saviour also visits many schools and libraries around the country. Visit our School and Author Visits page to book Saviour or another author through Jubilee Books.