During our life-changing journey that became the bestselling book Bowling Through India, it was somewhat ironic the Black Craps (as our five man cricket side was known) should end up playing cricket in a cemetery in Varanasi, otherwise known as the City of Life. The tombstones were used as stumps and a Catholic caretaker tried his best to keep games to a minimum – until we turned up. Thanks to The VC and photographer Brendon O’Hagan for providing this slideshow of our unforgettable match.
In my children’s novel ‘Shot, Boom, Score’ the main character (Toby) often visits his grandma in her second-hand shop named ‘Junk and Disorderly.’ The inspiration for this came from a nearby shoe repair store, whose owners told banks on either side to bugger off when they wanted to bowl its premises. The grandma in my novel finds herself in a similar situation as told by Toby in chapter two:
Today I went to visit my grandma. She owns a shop on the main street in the middle of town called ‘Junk and Disorderly’. It sells really old things, like paintings and chairs and tables you normally only see in old photos. But she’s also got cool stuff, like a wind-up monkey with wheels instead of feet, and lots of medals from the war. There’s a medal in a locked cabinet no one is allowed to touch, not even me. It’s a shiny gold five-pointed star with a red-and-blue ribbon. It has a ‘GRI’ written on it in big curly writing, and ‘The African Star’ in eeny-weeny writing. Grandma told me the medal is worth a lot of money. Every time I visit I go straight to that cabinet and look at the medal. It’s almost my favourite thing in the shop, apart from the pinball machine with lots of girls with no clothes on.
..but I’m glad they said nice things.
Billie and Macy review ‘Shot, Boom, Score!’ my junior fiction novel for 8-12 year olds.
Have a top weekend!
I’m happy to say that two of my travel books are now available to read on your Kindle. UK on a G-string is a tale about door-to-door-busking (I only had one song) around the Motherland and trying to make enough money for a flight home. The US version is called One Man, 23 Beers and a Crazy Bet. Next on my bucket list was an attempt to play golf around the U.S with whoever featured on the front page of the newspaper. In Search of Swingers was the result: a terrifying, yet liberating, glorious failure, full of crazy characters and surprisingly, very little golf. For more info on these titles head to my website. Enjoy!
Recently I got my two girls (Sophie and Georgia) to read THE DOG THAT ATE THE BATHROOM. Just click on the cover to hear. I think they did a great job, though British accents weren’t part of the original plan. There were a lot of laughs. Maybe I should post the unedited version one day.
For the next five days you can grab my travel memoir ‘Bowling Through India’ for NOTHING from Amazon. Don’t panic if you’re not into sport. Here are one reader’s comments: ‘Fantastic story of friendship male bonding and cricket. Far from your typical travel book you learn as much about the ways group of men treat each other as you will about India. Highly recommended.’
So get to it – and enjoy!
A series I wrote for 6-9 year olds is free for the next 5 days on Amazon. I guarantee it’ll be cheaper – not to mention more beneficial – than your child hacking into your itunes account and inadvertently buying an entire Smurf village. Get in quick!
The story: Five Kiwi blokes choose to drive across India and play cricket with street kids who ultimately whip their ass. They are, after all, The Black Craps. I’m pleased to announce that Bowling Through India is now an ebook and is free for five days (until July 14th.) Just click on the pic and you’ll be taken to Amazon. Go for it – and please leave a review!
I spoke to a great group at Stanley Bay Primary yesterday. As usual, kids this age (years 4,5 and 6) are full of life, energy and awkward questions. I told them about Malcolm McGarvy (the bully in my novel ‘Shot, Boom, Score!) who has a few tricks up his sleeve. One of which is the chicken made from a tea towel; the other is a penguin made from a banana.
The speech went well and Fiona and the team thanked me. When I jumped in the car to drive home I was sure I smelt something. Something sweet. Yet slightly rotten. Something…like the banana I used for my talk a month ago at Birkenhead Primary. (You’re just lucky this isn’t Smelevision.)
The idea for this e-book started out as a joke. My daughter (Sophie) and I were bored, so decided to think up ridiculous things. Once finished, she took the story to school and her class loved it, as did the teacher who passed it on to other classes. A few tweaks later we had a story. A few beers later I had an illustrator. And now you have the finished product. Yes it’s for kids, but it’s also for anyone who owns a dog who eats anything they shouldn’t. If you click on the cover of the book it’ll take you to Amazon – the book is $3.99. Enjoy