boom! 29-08-2009

boom! will be published on 3rd september.

here's the book's introduction which pretty much explains everything:

"this book was first published in 1992 under the title ‘gridzbi spudvetch!’. it was  a ridiculous thing to call a book. no-one knew how to pronounce it. and no-one knew what it meant until they'd read the story. as a result only twenty three people bought the book. actually, that's an exaggeration, but not much. it rapidly it went out of print.

it would have stayed out of print, but over the years a string of people got in touch to say how much they loved the book. on several occasions my publishers asked whether i wanted to update it for a new edition.

it certainly needed updating. it was full of references to floppy discs and Walkmans and cassette players. but it needed more than that. there were numerous little holes in the plot. much of the writing was clumsy. and i couldn't read it without thinking ouch! on almost every page. a new edition would need major rewriting. Rewriting takes time, however. and i didn't have much.

towards the end of 2007 i got a letter from ss philip and james primary School (aka phil and jim's) in oxford. alison Williams said that she had been reading the book to her pupils for years and it was always guaranteed to entertain them. to prove her point she included a sheaf of letters from her Lilac 4 class, and they were kind and funny and very complimentary.

i was finally persuaded. i put aside some time and returned to gridzbi spudvetch! armed with a scalpel and a red pencil. i cut large sections and added new ones. By the end of the process i'd changed pretty much every sentence in the book one way or another.

i'd also come up with a new title. it means something even if you haven't read the story. and everyone can pronounce it."

it was hard work. much harder work than i expected (reworking books is always harder than you expect). but i heard it being read to a group of kids (and a couple) a few weeks ago and it seemed to go down pretty well.

if you are so minded you can go to the david fickling books website and read the book in 4 weekly chunks online.