I got the idea for Wildfire when I was listening to the radio instead of working. A fireman was saying how no one can outrun a forest fire. “There’s only one way to survive a wildfire,” he said, and when he explained it, I thought “What a great ending for a story”. I planned the whole book backwards from that surprising ending, as Sol struggles to remember a half-watched TV documentary to save himself and the bullying boy he is trapped with as the trees explode into flames…
Ten year-old Ben is football-mad. At every home match, his dad puts on a massive fox outfit and high-fives United’s players as their mascot. When Dad falls ill, Ben steps in. But he can hardly walk or see through the eyeholes. He gets into a fight with the opposition mascot, Chicken Kev, and is accused of robbing the United team. Ben and his dad are banned from the ground. Can they solve the crime and get the job back? Available as an ebook.
Spacetoyz, bananas and the end of the world
No-one believes Kevin when he says the plastic Spacetoyz are real aliens set on conquering the planet. When he tries to persuade his sister, she posts the footage online and he is a global laughing stock. But then the aliens come alive. Can Kevin really save them by waving a banana? A funny 5000-word story for 7-9 year-olds, available as an ebook.
I was looking for an unusual sports story and came up with the idea of a tubby kid having secret ballroom dancing lessons. When his best friend lets out the secret, he has an even harder time at school. But dainty feet have their advantages and he discovers a new skill…. Big shot is in A&C Black’s Wired series.
A ‘high-interest, low-reading age’ title for Barrington Stoke. They wanted a sports theme and I used my knowledge of tennis to tell the story of Tim’s struggle to keep playing when his dad leaves the family home. It has been translated and published in Sweden.
Two playscripts for Evans that I developed from musicals I wrote for my pupils. I had to lengthen the stories considerably, changing the structure and adding new characters. Both start off in a school but end up somewhere completely different, either because of a wrong turn on the way to the swimming pool, or a mysterious scarab on the display table…