I have just finished the last edit on the last Foul Play novel, Own Goal. And, have, therefore finished writing Danny Harte.
It took me nearly twenty years of trying to get my first book deal with Puffin. And it was Danny Harte who did it. He was the character who meant I could be a full time writer.
When children ask who is my favourite characters it is always him. When they ask if he is based on me, I say that he is based on what I wish I had been like when I was fourteen.
In the first draft of Own Goal Danny sat on a bomb to stop it going off and killing Charlotte. He died. But none of the people who read my first drafts liked that, so he lived on. And I'm kind of glad. I have this idea that he might join the police and that I might write adult crime fiction about him.
But today I say goodbye to Danny Harte... and I turn my mind to a twenty-year-old man called Jack, who is about to find himself in the trenches at the Somme.