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Life's what gets in the way when you're busy making other plans

It’s been a busy time and I’ve been slack with the blog. Still, here we are, finally. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing school talks all over Auckland. The kids are brilliantly funny and ask memorable questions. Some schools, like Mt Eden, even send you hand drawn covers of your book (pictured.) Thank you! Otherwise, I have been head down bum up working on a new novel which I’ve been told is too scary for adults, but just right for kids. Also, my first travel book ‘UK on a G-String’ will soon be available on Kindle. Will keep you in the loop. Happy weekend wherever you are.

ed hillary

The only piece of advice you'll ever need

Edmund Hillary was the first person to climb Mt Everest. He built schools in Nepal. He was one of New Zealand’s most famous people until his death in 2008. During all that time his name, address and number were in the Auckland phone book. And he left us with this nugget of wisdom. RIP, Ed.

john irving

Why the *&ck do I write?

Everyone loves John Irving – and here is one of his quotes I’ve been trying to track down for a long time. If you’re a writer and you’ve ever asked yourself, why the hell do I do this, the last sentence may bring some peace.

star wars
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epsom

Stay at scool, kids

Currently reading Roald Dahl (More About A Boy) from our local ‘liebary.’ The man himself would have loved this. Graffiti on my book! I’ve made it!

dog race

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This morning on our radio show we asked ‘Can Jase, Stace or Justin’ win a swimming race against a dog. All week we asked listeners to submit opponents. Kira the German Shepard was chosen.

But where would we race? Not surprisingly every public pool in town told us to jump in the lake. The sea! Of course. Friday morning rolled round and three names were places in a bucket. The loser had to race Kira.

I drew the short straw. ‘Shake!’ I said. And she did. Good sport. And we were off!

The winner of the first race was undecided as it was suggested I cheated by running the last bit. I thought I was being a good sport by emulating the doggy paddle. (Didn’t see Kira trying backstroke.) The second race was definitive. Sort of. Meanwhile Kira just wanted her ball.

Feb 1st signals the launch of my debut junior fiction novel ‘Shot, Boom, Score!’ published by Allen and Unwin. If you follow this blog you’ll know what the story’s about – and how it came to be – so I won’t prattle on. Needless to say, if you have an 8-12 year old in the house who likes reading, and enjoys funny characters, you can buy the book here or download the Kindle version here – which also has a preview chapter. Enjoy!

sbs new

So my debut junior novel is out.

It’s all pretty damn exciting. It’s also good to know – given how ruthless young reviewers can be – those who’ve read ‘Shot, Boom, Score!’ seem to have really enjoyed it.

So anyway.

I was walking along Ponsonby Road in Auckland on a beautiful Friday morning when I ran into an old mate with his ten-year-old son. Here was a kid dressed in a Manchester United shirt, with accompanying NZ Warriors shorts. He was a cool kid: funny and full of life, with mannerisms that seemed oddly familiar.

Then it clicked.

As we stood there in the sun, my mate apparently told me what he’d been up to over Xmas. I say apparently because I struggled to focus on a word he said, mainly because the main character I’d been working on for the past two years, the guy who had lived inside my head all that time, was standing right in front of me in a Manchester United shirt. If I was a casting director for ‘Shot, Boom, Score’ the movie, I would have chosen this kid right away.

Of course I tried to relay this to my mate (‘then for New Years we just had a quiet one’) but, not surprisingly, he failed to catch my enthusiasm.

It was all hellishly freaky. Even more so – the kid’s name was Toby, the same as my main character. I took all this as a good sign – though given the similarities – wondered if this new novel is fiction at all.