john newman children's author
Fantastic Book Awards
Hi! My name is John Newman. By day I'm a school-teacher and by night I'm a writer.
I don’t really have much of a routine when it comes to writing. I don’t write in the garden shed like Roald Dahl because it’s too full of junk and there’s no room.
So I write when I’m in the mood.. in the dining room , usually after dinner – it gets me out of the washing up! I have always written, even when I was a goofy kid. I wrote short stories and poems mostly. And sometimes I won a prize or got a story or poem published and that kept me going for the next few years until I hit lucky again.
When I was married first we were very poor and I really wanted to win this prize to Vienna for two. The prize was for the best love letter. I thought it would be so romantic to win and my wife would love me for ever and ever.
I came second. The runner up prize was three tons of turf...(which people in Ireland sometimes burn instead of coal). It wasn’t a bad prize but it wasn’t quite the same. “Darling I’ve a wonderful surprise for you...three tons of turf...” doesn’t quite have the same ring as a weekend for two in Vienna. Never mind. She still loves me....I think.
Then I started writing school books with another teacher. His name is Jim Halligan. This was a good idea because every time a teacher liked a book they made all their pupils buy it.
However because the books we wrote were so boring and full of work the children of Ireland began to hate us so we decided to write some funny books to get back in their good books! With Jim, I wrote Fowl Play’, which was very wacky. Then we wrote ‘Round the bend’, ‘Fowl Deeds’ and ‘Seeing Red’. Each one was wackier than the last. We had great fun writing these books and it was a big thrill when ‘Fowl Deeds’ was shortlisted for the Bisto Awards... but it didn’t win. I sulked for days.
Then Jim went off and wrote a book all by himself about aliens and mobile phones and I was so mad that I decided I would write my own book too. So I wrote Mimi it took ages so I really hoped somebody would read it. Well lots of people did so I wrote a follow up book called Tao.
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