Friday, 15 July 2011
My very first book is to be reprinted. Dog Magic! was originally published in 2000 and was shortlisted for that years Children's Book Award. But these little books are hard to keep alive and it slipped quietly out of print a few years back.
It's a slight thing, but I think it's still one of my best books. It tells the story of a Jack Russell terrier who is granted unlimited wishes and learns that maybe having everything you want is not necessarily a good thing. . .
First books are always special. It relies on someone - in my case Annie Eaton at Transworld - to make that leap of faith and give you a chance. As soon as that book is out, you are a published author and you just have to cope as best as you can. It's like being pushed into a fast-flowing river.
The age group of my books has grown as my son has grown. Before long I was writing longer historical adventures and eventually the chillers of recent years. There was one exception though. . .
Dog Magic! was part of a two-book deal. When I went on to write my Tom Marlowe books this second younger book was put on the back burner. I would occasionally come up with something but each time there seemed to be a reason why the idea would not quite work. It was not until we were about to leave Norfolk that came up with the idea for Billy Wizard - a story about a boy moving to a new school.
The 'new' school that Joe goes to was a thinly disguised version of the little village school my own son was sadly leaving. We were moving to Cambridge and he was not at all keen to leave the house he had grown up in since he was a baby or leave the only school he had known. He was also very upset to be leaving the wonderful countryside and coast of Northwest Norfolk and the nature he loved there. I wondered at one point whether he would ever forgive us.
But the move has proved to be a good one for him. He loves his school and he enjoys the freedom that living in a small town has provided him.
Billy Wizard is dedicated to him