Saturday, 27 December 2014

In a Hole in the Ground there lived a...


The legend is that this first line popped fully formed into the mind of Professor JRR Tolkien. From it he built one of the most successful, most loved books of all time, like finding a beautiful, shiny doorknob, and basing a whole (hole) house around it. You can even get the t-shirt.

The same thing happened to me. It was quite surprising. It formed the origin of the next story I'm going to publish.

The line is 'There's only one Digger Bongo.' Go figure. Where did it come from? I have no idea. The line popped into my head while I was walking to work one morning. It stayed there for the entire day, and by the time I went home Digger Bongo had built himself up a character, an obsession, and a background.

Digger is a character in a children's story, that was quickly obvious. I haven't published stories for younger children before, and I know that you think of me as a YA writer, but I hope you'll have a look at Digger when he appears, or point younger friends and relatives in his direction. The first novel I ever wrote is for kids. In lots of ways I think its still my best, and hopefully Digger and his adventures will be the first step along the way to getting that first ever novel out and on Amazon.

 It didn't take much longer for me to realise Digger has a lot to do with digging holes. His family took a bit more time to assemble, until I remembered this...

The Family from One End Street, by Eve Garnett, that I loved when I was a little boy. We never owned it, but I borrowed it repeatedly from the library. It's about the Ruggles family, Mum, Dad, and seven children. Every child is a unique little character, and though their lives are ordinary, with that many people in the house there is always something going on.

Unsurprisingly Digger has 6 siblings, and every one is very, very different. I'll write a bit more about him, and them, in a couple of days. I'm on vacation now, so there's more time for blogging, I promise.

In the meantime, this is where I am. Very cool, don't you think?

Merry Christmas!