Up, up and away!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nah, it's a butterfly.
It wouldn't take a barrage of psychological testing to work out that I draw inspiration from many sources. My muse seems to wear different guises depending upon his or her mood.

Many writers talk about listening for 'the voice' and then following the thread to see where it takes you. I assume that's a pretty good definition of a pantser when it comes to novels.

I don't often write children's fiction because I tend to see it as having an added layer of requirements in terms of understanding your audience, as well as using appropriate language and situations for the age group that you think you're writing for.

And I'm fussy about titles too, since I like the title to be in some way indicative of the flavour of the book. Scars & Stripes, for example, is both comedic and dramatic - a coming-of-age story about an adventure that purports to be one thing and is revealed to be something else. Clever, huh?

However, Superhero Club is something of a departure for me. To start with, the lead character is a girl, she's a pre-teen (I have a feeling I just made that word up), she has a dysfunctional mum, and both she and her mum are obese. But the muse knows best.

School days in literature is such an evocative time, reminding us of the emotionally charged atmosphere of discovery, insecurity and vulnerability. My heroine, Jo - because that's what she is - lives her life on the margins and the book opens with her last one-to-one session with a counsellor.

Here's the blurb, which is in American English as the ebook is coming out through US-based Musa Publishing.  

Twelve year-old Jo has never fit in at school, what with being overweight and over-sensitive. Since Dad moved out, Mom forgets who's who in the whole mother-daughter relationship. Jo has one ambition in life: to be normal. Not gifted, or gorgeous, or even particularly popular. Just normal. 

When Jo's counselor offers her a lifeline, there's a bunch of other misfits sharing the rope. Group sessions could help them to help each other, but Chris doesn't like speaking and Alistair's a self-confessed geek. Like Stevie, the joker, says, “Oh yeah, right bunch of bloody superheroes we are!”

Sometimes the most heroic thing is to trust a group of strangers, who also have a lot at stake. Jo may find the unlikeliest of friends, and a way to transform her life from the inside. The Superhero Club could give her all that in the blink of an eye. Well, maybe a double-blink!

TaglineYou only find out you're a butterfly if you spread your wings.

Obviously, I'd love the book to do well. What writer wouldn't wish that for her or his work? But, more importantly than that, my goal is for the book to reach an audience where it can perhaps make a bit of a difference. If you know of any review sites or approaches for an ebook of this kind, please leave me a comment.

Superhero Club is out on the 9th of November:


Which books about childhood really chimed with you?


Thrifty Gal said...

Sounds great!

Gillian McDade said...

Good luck with this one, Derek. Sounds like a good read :)

Deb said...

Good luck, Derek!

DT said...

Thanks, all. This is new territory for me and I'll be interested to see how a younger readership connect to it.