The Next Best Thing

Thank you to the lovely Gwen over at The 4 a.m. Writer for this award- check her out! This award is called The Next Best Thing and is an opportunity to discuss your ‘next best thing’ book before you nominate someone else, and pass the award on. Since this blog is all about the trials and tribulations of writing my second book, I will discuss my first book in the Q&A as it due for release in April and fingers crossed that it really will be The Next Big Thing!



What is the working title of your book?

The working title was ‘How I Alienated my Grandma.’ My daughter came up with the title when I had written the first couple of chapters. It really fits the story and is a clever play on words.  I loved it so much I went back and changed what had already been written from third to first person to fit the title! Once the book was finished, there was a lot of debate about the title and whether it sounded too old-fashioned. A lot of alternatives were thrown about, but in the end the working title was what was adopted.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

A weekend novel writing workshop. The tutor did an exercise in developing plot ideas. She handed us each a random object from a box, and we had to create a ‘what if’ from our object. I was given a strange metal object and the plot just fell out from there.

What genre does it fall under?

Boys aged 9-11 humour & adventure (is that a genre?)

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If they hadn’t already been used in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies, I would choose the two boys who play Greg and Fregley for my lead characters.  Zachary Adam Gordon who plays Greg Heffley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies would be ideal for my lead character Michael who is a normal active boy with a surplus of attitude and an aptitude for trouble. The other lead character is a sci-fi nut called Elvis. He has lots of brilliant ideas that aren’t always entirely brilliant; and is somewhat uncoordinated. Grayson Russell who plays Fregley in the wimpy kid movies fits Elvis’ description reasonably well but he would have to play the part of Elvis quite differently to Fregley.

If someone made a movie of my book I would be so excited, I’m sure I would be happy with whoever they chose.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Rules are made to be broken and I would much rather put the book’s blurb here and it has more than one sentence, so hopefully the police of The Next Big Thing award won’t come get me:

Michael’s granny might look normal, but she isn’t.

Ever since Michael unearthed a strange object from his backyard and pointed it at his grandma, her behaviour has been off the planet, and no one except Michael is noticing it.

A spaceship load of trouble has been unleashed from Michael’s garden and he is going to need some help to sort it out. But when his only allies are a bumbling sci-fi geek, a stinky oddball and a dog, what hope does he have of saving his granny and stopping the diabolical plan that threatens them all?

Will your book be self-published or be represented by an agency?

It is being published by Pear Jam Books (

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Ten months to complete the story at approximately 44,000 words.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

‘Einstein’s Underpants and How they Saved the World’ by Anthony McGowan. At this stage not too many people have read my manuscript, but of the few that have, two have compared my writing to Andy Griffiths. Personally I think my book has a higher adventure element, and is not as ‘roll on the floor’ funny as Andy Griffith’s books are, but I was very flattered by the comparison.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My eight-year-old son. He loves reading, and we can never find enough books in the library that are to his taste. He loves humour, and adventure.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s funny!

My nominee for the award next is Francis Guenette whose first book ‘Disappearing in Plain Sight’ is soon to be released. Her blog is awesome, and I am looking forward to reading her book soon.


One thought on “The Next Best Thing

  1. Pingback: The Next Big Thing–Disappearing in Plain Sight is Now Available « disappearinginplainsight

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