Wednesday, 26 October 2011


In the book I'm writing there are five children, all of them without parents. This makes it easier for me to have them travel around the world, putting their lives in danger, without having to say where they are to their mums and dads.

It's an easy device.

In the Foul Play series, my football detective, Danny Harte, had a very close relationship with his dad. He phoned home all the time. Part of his problem was trying to be a detective without lying to his dad about where he was.

That was not so easy. It was hard to write about a boy solving crimes across the world, who also had to stay in touch and not lie.

But family is really important to me. I've written books about parenthood (such as Four Fathers, published by Route). I wanted it there. Parent-child relationships are important in my Football Academy series too. Central to it.

That's why it's so odd that I am writing about five orphans now.

Except something is happening. They're starting to pine for family life. One of them has had contact from an uncle and is considering leaving the world of international espionage to go back to family life and love.

I've not planned it, but now all the children are wondering if they would be better off being loved in a family as opposed to than spying. But before they decice that they have to stop World War Three.

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