Archive for the ‘Henry Hoey Hobson’ Category

People love to know where we writers get our ideas.

They seem to think that ideas are elusive, and that we find them in secret places where others never think to look.

The truth is that ideas spring at us from all directions.

Like hungry cats, they clamour for our attention, rubbing up against our legs, jumping onto our laps, and whingeing till they get what they want.

Some inevitably drift off, bored with our lack of response.

Others are more persistent, digging in their claws and refusing to let go till we give in to their demands.

Henry Hoey Hobson was a clawer. He arrived unannounced, when I was busy working on a crime novel, and waiting for my novel Dust to come out.

A likeable kid that nobody liked. How was that even possible?

I felt for him, even pulled out a pen and jotted down his details, then shooed him away so that I could concentrate on my work-in-progress.

But he was a persistent little begger, sneaking into my thoughts, and into my dreams, until finally I got out of bed and started writing his story.

Now there’s another one clawing at me.

I’ve been pushing Intruder away with my foot, while I got through the month of Book Week, the school visits, the festivals and conferences.

It’s shredded my pants up to the knee, and if I don’t get to it soon, there will be blood.

This morning I shoved it, hissing and spitting, into a hold-all, to take it up the coast for two weeks.

There’s no internet. No telephone. No mail deliveries. And they’re predicting rain.

Wish me luck. It’s time to feed the beast.

As a kid, I loved reading Zane Grey westerns and Jack London adventures

I’d ride horses bareback and fight boys with sticks, then retire to my room with my uber-Barbie (the one with the swivel waist and the bendable knees).

I devoured Jane Eyre, Ann of Green Gables and Little Women with the same avid obsession as Reach for the Sky, the true story of Douglas Bader, the legless World War II fighter pilot.

In my dreams I was Black Canary from the Justice League of America comics, but it was Green Lantern’s motto that I would chant when alone:

In brightest day and blackest night

No evil Shall escape my sight

For those who worship evil’s might

Beware the power of Green Lantern’s light!

My childhood idols included Catwoman, the Lone Ranger, Emma Peel (for her lethal elegance) and Jane Russell (for her smart mouth).

I grew up to fight with girlfriends over my right to watch Diehard over Passage to India (which admittedly I still haven’t seen). But it didn’t stop me sobbing convulsively all the way home from Driving Miss Daisy.

I read Robert Ludlum and Wilbur Smith long before they became franchises, and would segue seamlessly from John Le Carre to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen.

I’ve never preferred male authors to female authors, or female protagonists to their male counterparts; my lifelong preference is for well-written, strong stories with engaging characters.

So clearly I am the wrong person to ask “Are you books for boys or for girls?”

My novels – Dust, Intruder and Henry Hoey Hobson – are for anyone who ever missed out on the A-team, anyone who ever feared that they might not fit in, anyone who would love to be accepted for simply being him or herself.

And in my book, that would be just about all of us, wouldn’t it?

 

Henry Hoey Hobson Brisbane launch

Ack, it’s almost upon us. The Brisbane launch of Henry Hoey Hobson.

There will be drinks and me and the fabulous Marj Kirkland, illustrious grand poobah of the Childrens Book Council of Australia. Also my esteemed publisher, Leonie Tyle, waving the Woolshed Press/Random House Australia banner.

Click here to check it out on Coaldrake’s Author Events and here for the true story behind Henry Hoey Hobson (yes, I made it all up, apart from the drinks around the coffin. That really happened).

Love to see any, and all, who can make it on the night.  Can. not. wait. 🙂

I’m at a loose end. Pull it and I’ll start to unravel.

The revisions are done, the publishing Gods temporarily appeased after taking my second-born.

Henry Hoey Hobson has left home, whisked away on secret publisher’s business to an unknown location, a brutal boot camp where a merciless editor will whip his scrawny arse into shape.

He’ll come back eventually, bulging in a tough bag, splattered with copy editor squiggles. Sporting black marks on his once-spotless pages. Missing adverbs I didn’t even know that he had…

I’ll miss him, I do already; my head’s been in HHH-time for months. But it’s time to reset the clock for crime.

The post-deadline clean-up has cleared the decks to make way for the next one, my adult murder book, The Lonely Dead.

Under the detritus on my desk, I have finally located my dog-eared copy of the Crime Scene Investigation manual (along with an unbanked cheque, two overdue birthday cards,  bills that I’ve paid, and filing I have binned).

Voices that have been simmering on the back burner for months are now rattling their lids.

It is time to make the shift. To find a new register. To drop it down a gear and begin the uphill climb. A new story mountain needs to be conquered.