All Dickensed out?

I’m thinking about the Artful Dodger, the character Dickens slipped into and out of Oliver Twist without a second thought.

Anthony Newley, Jack Wild, Phil Collins and Tony Robinson all portrayed him on stage and in film and there must have been dozens of others who have done the same. There is/was a band named after him, at least three pubs to my knowledge and who knows what else?

In print, perhaps less has been made of him. When I wrote Dodger’s Lot back in 2001 I thought I’d entered a clear field but whereas I portrayed the eponymous Jack Dawkins running away to sea and having adventures in Imperial Bengal, I later found somebody else had him joining the Army as a boy soldier. Now I find Sir Terry Pratchett is having a go.

Have we all had to much of him and are we, as my lovely editor Sara says, ‘all Dickensed out’ in this the great man’s bicentenial year?

Still, the logo next to my name tells you of my affinity with the lad. I love him and have planned three follow up stories to Dodger’s Lot.

What you think? Is there too much Dickens right now? And what about the Dodger, don’t you just love him?

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Hot News from Hot Key

This is the brilliant press release that went out to the industry a few days ago.

Hot Key has world and film rights directly from debut author Richard Masson for BOONIE (January 2013), which the publisher discovered through the Undiscovered Voices anthology. It is the “stunning” story of a young man trying to survive in a harsh, dry world.

Seems strange to read of myself as a debut author after so many years of writing but technically I guess its correct. Needless to say I am immensly chuffed by this, especially having  met most of the enthusistic staff at Hot Key I know that if Boonie isn’t a raging success it wont be their fault.

Just off to sit in a cold bath for a while in case I explode.

More soon…

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Boonie receives accolade

Boonie has been accepted for the Undiscovered Voices 2012 anthology. This book is published every two years by The Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and highlights the best and most promising childrens’ novels. Boonie is one of only twelve books to receive this accolade.

Boonie is a story which either took place a long time ago or perhaps sometime in the future.

In a world ravaged by war and pollution, little JD is lost. His Ma has run off and his Pa is dead but when he meets a strange old man called Godrum he sets out on a strange journey.

In the harsh, desolate City he is hunted down by Silver Men but Aqua, a Farm child helps him escape and search for his Ma. And Aqua has a dream too. To get away from the City and live free. But dreams aren’t that easy. Especially with the awful Ragman who works children to death in the Pits and Chatelainne, the cruel mistress all trying to stop you. And what about the Ratcatcher and Fireless the giant who runs the power plant? But above all there are The Silver Men, determined and cruel whose aim is to stop kids like JD & Aqua finding happiness.

Stay tuned for more news…

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