Author James Campbell is planning an online festival in honour of his Boyface series. A blog tour has been arranged to share some insight into the festival as well as to introduce new readers to Boyface. Check out the link below for further details on the festival as well as how to get involved. Scroll down for a guest post from James about writing Boyface.
WHY DID I WRITE THE BOYFACE BOOKS by James Campbell
Hi. I want you to imagine me ten years ago. I was all over the world doing my Comedy 4 Kids shows. I was being very creative. Every show was about 50% improvisation. And after every show someone would suggest that I maybe should write some of it down in a book. It took me a long time to do this though. And why? Because I was scared. I was scared that if I wrote my stories down, they wouldn’t be good enough.
For a year or too, I also had a job hosting a really early online TV chat show called The Big Book Babble. It was streamed from the Arts Theatre in Leicester Square and sponsored by The Book People. My job was to entertain the kids and interview the guests who were children’s authors and illustrators.
For one show we had Andy Stanton who wrote the Mr Gum books. To prepare for the show I read a couple of these books and had a sudden realisation. This was probably the sort of thing that I would write “If I had the time.” And so at a production meeting I asked the director of The Book People if she would help me get published. She agreed. I asked what I should do. She said, “Write the book.”
I asked if there was anything else I could do instead of writing the book and she, of course, laughed.
So that night I went home and my mind raced through all the ideas I’d had for books. There was one idea that kept jumping out. A machine that alter animals on a quantum level. A magical machine that could take the stripes of zebras to pass them off as very expensive ponies.
When my son had been born, I had wanted to call him Antelope but his mum had said that this was a ridiculous idea. If we called him Antelope, people might think he was an actual antelope. I lost the argument but had saved this an idea for a book.
As it happened, of course, when my son was a baby we had all sorts of nick-names for him. First he was Babyface. Then Sickface. And finally Boyface. I always thought that would be a good name for a character.
And so after my conversation with The Book People, I spent most of the day thrashing out a first draft of Boyface and the Quantum Chromatic Disruption Machine. My hope was that it would be something a bit different. Something a bit grubby around the edges. Boyface’s parents wouldn’t be entirely law-abiding but they would still be loveable.
And that’s how it started.