Yesterday Tom Fletcher captured the imagination of a new generation in Shropshire, not with his songs but his books.
The pop star, songwriter and proud dad was at Oswestry School to launch his new children’s book the latest in his series of Christmasaurus adventures.
A thousand primary school children from schools in and around the town sat enthralled as Tom and the illustrator of the series, Shane Devrie, told them how the characters of the book came to life in words and pictures.
But with all the children far too young to remember McFly in their heyday it was the younger teachers who were most excited about his appearance.
The event was organised by independent company, Booka Bookshop, to celebrate it’s 10th anniversary.
Some of the children took to the stage to ask questions ranging from which author Tom liked best - Roald Dahl and JK Rowlands for her Harry Potter series - to who he was most like in his books - Bob Trundle the dad of the hero William and what was his favourite colour - green.
How also explained why William was in a wheelchair.
“I had an idea in my head, a young boy in a wheelchair being pulled across the sky by a dinosaur. I didn’t realise at the time how much children with disabilities were under-represented in literature,” he said.
He said he was writing stories before he got involved with McFly.
“Writing songs is just like writing stories only shorter. But they still tell a story. I started writing children’s stories before my children were born but becoming a father has given me a completely new perspective.”
“I love reading stories with my kids and my parents were brilliant at reading with me. Reading with your children is so important.”
Tom said he hoped that speaking to the children would inspire them to write their own stories.
He told them: "I love Christmas and I love dinosaurs so I decided to put them together for the series. I also love time travel, Back to the Future, hence the name of the band, so the new book Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch looks at time travel."
He said despite his new career as an author he was still very much involved in the band, 16 years after it was formed.
"I love being in a band and we have just announced our first tour for four years," he said.