Some great advice I was given about characters – keep the story simple, make the characters complex. Motivate your characters to make hard choices. Impossible choices. Compelling choices make classic moments. Stephen King goes by the mantra ‘Kill your darlings’ but that’s another kettle of fish. He seems to like killing people (in his books that is.)

Make them suffer!


Very proud to say my first novel for kids is out with Allen and Unwin come Feb, 2013. I’ve been working on it for a while so to receive a pre-copy in the mail was a great feeling. The story is about Toby Gilligan-Flannigan, a boy who hates his name but loves his sport. The latter of which played a major role in my childhood. So did rewards for doing well. I only have to look at my daughter’s face when she wins player of the day with accompanying trophy. From the sideline I’ve also witnessed bribery. ‘Max, pie for a try!’ ‘Olivia, movie ticket for a wicket!’ With Toby in ‘Shot, Boom, Score!’, I wanted to take this theme to a new level. When Toby’s old man offers his son the ultimate prize in return for playing well, class bully Malcolm McGarvy does his utmost to ruin the party. Image

Shot, Boom, Score

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This is the latest picture book I’m working on with illustrator Guy Harkness. Like many things, the project started out as a joke. My daughter and I were bored one afternoon and tried to think of the craziest thing we could think of. A dog called Mr Nut who ate bathrooms came to mind. My daughter took the book to school and the response was great. Damn! Now we actually had to do something about it! We’re working on it. Story is complete – pics are almost there.

The Dog That Ate The Bathroom