What a great way to start a new year – with the release of a new book!
“Outsmart the enemy,” advises Gramps. Easy for him to say. Every day Andrew has to face the bully Pryke and his gang, and they always call the shots. But Gramps is right, there is no way Andrew can out-muscle them. So how can he change the rules to make a fair fight? (Gilt Edge Publishing – New Zealand)
I’m not sure I want New Zealand kids fighting over this book, but I hope they’ll be scrabbling to read it.
From a writing perspective, this is one of my earliest stories. It’s seen its day as a 1000-word and a 5000-word story and is now published bang in the middle around 2500-words. The kookaburra has morphed into a NZ tui chiming in a kowhai tree instead of laughing in a gum.
Some stories stick with a writer. Even when they’re short and not going to win the Booker Prize. You just know there’s something in there that hooks you in – as A Fair Fight did me. I’ve always liked Andrew and his mate Sean, but I think it’s the twist in how Andrew outsmarts the bully that really kept me believing in the story. And dragging it out of the bottom drawer and rewriting it.
I’m hoping A Fair Fight shows kids there’s other ways to sort bullies than with their fists. Andrew’s resolution wouldn’t work in every situation. Just as his first try feeding the lunch stealing bully a treat of vegemite and sprout sandwiches wasn’t the way to do it either.
The gorgeous cover illo by Soda Design is a cool hook into this fast-paced chapter book for 7-9+ readers.
Come on fellow writers, spill. How long have some of your babies been in and out of the bottom drawer before finding publication?