Monday, 22 June 2009

Windmill Primary

I had a great day at Windwill Primary school today. In Northamptonshire. We did some quizzes and took some penalties. But the best bit was the questions. They were brilliant. From years 3 to 6. The star performer was one of the teachers, whose name I didn't get... but you know who you are. He was an excellent keeper!

I have been asked to do a story for the Puffin Post magazine tonight. A 400 word mystery. I'm used to writing stories of 15,000 or 40,000 words, so it'll be a great challenge.

Best get started then...

Sunday, 21 June 2009


I'm in Northampton. In a hotel. Eating chocolate. Listening to Duffy.

I just finished reading the first 25,000 words of Football Detective III. It needs work. But is getting there.

I have my writers' group in a week. They'll read the book this weekend, then tell me what is good and bad about it, where it needs work. I love this process. I have learned so much from Sophie and James doing this. I have 48 hours to knock it into shape before sending it off to them.

I have been reading a great book called The Belly of the Atlantic by Fatou Diome. It's about a boy who wants to play football in Europe. He lives in Senegal. Not really that much like my book, but a great way to help me build one of my characters. Reading books and seeing films about things close to what I am writing about helps.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Feet of the Chameleon

There's a great new book about African football coming out soon. Ian Hawkey's Feet of the Chameleon. I read it early, thanks to the generosity of the author. It is amazing. If you remember Roger Milla and others and want to know more this is an amazing book.

I have read three books about African football now. This is the best by a million miles.


My wife likes Divine chocolate.

She was eating some recently... and she read the back of the bar where it says about how the chocolate is made and how the farmers in Ghana get a lot more of the profits than other chocolate producers give them. In fact they own the company!

So she emailed Divine. To see if they could help me with the next book I'm writing, partly based in Ghana. They sent back a lovely email and I went to see them last week.

I am really exicted. They are going to help me meet people in Ghana and hopefully help me visit a school there to talk about the books. And we came up with some great thoughts on who I could meet out there and how I could work it into the books.

I feel like the novel has taken a great leap forward. Thanks to Divine.

I say this while eating a Divine Dubble Bar. Very nice.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


I've had two weeks off with my family in Cornwall. On the beach. In the sun. Eating cream teas. Building spectacular sandcastles with my wife, as my daughter watched on, puzzled.

But now I'm back. This week I'm in Manchester, St Helens, York, St Helens (again), Basildon and London. I am looking forward to getting out there. Although I love writing most, I love hearing kids talking about what they like to read and taking penalties at me.

I was supposed to be writing in Cornwall. 20,000 words was my target. I managed 5,000. So now I've got some serious writing to do. I want to get the first draft done before I go to Ghana in July. Once I've been to Ghana I will have to change loads, but I need to get it down so I know what to look for in Ghana.

I have to admit I am a bit rusty. I need to do 2,000 words tomorrow on trains and in the cafe at Manchester's Victoria station.

I can't wait.

I have started two new blogs today. One about crimes in football. One about being a dad. I'm told I need to do more on line. Have a look. If you think they're rubbish let me know.