Sometimes I remember clearly where a book idea has come from. For instance, my first published novel, You Had Me at Halo was based on a surreal experience I’d had a few weeks earlier at my father’s funeral. I had clearly imagined that he was there, providing an alternative commentary about what happening, and let’s just say that he wasn’t best pleased. It was such a strong image that I ended up writing a book about a dead girl who did the same thing! The idea for Zombie Queen of Newbury High started life as a joke because I used to tease my critique partners that I would write a zombie book just to make them read it. However, with my new series, Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic, the idea can be traced back to when I was a kid watching television!
Now, for those who don’t know me, I must confess that I have a very small, totally-under-control, nothing-to-worry-about addiction to television and when I was a kid, some of my favourite shows were Bewitched, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and I Dream of Jeannie. And the one thing these all had in common was that they involved people trying to survive in a normal world, while dealing with some very abnormal situations--like impossible to explain problems, magical mayhem and secrets. So, it was probably no surprise that when I decided to write a middle grade book about an eleven year old girl who gets turned into a djinn, there was only one direction the books were going to go!
I’m always a visual writer anyway and with these books in particular, they blossomed in my mind like a sitcom and I just had to write as quickly to try and keep up! Definitely my favourite part of the series is Sophie’s dead djinn guide, Malik who looks like Zac Efron, eats Cheetos and is addicted to American Idol. He is completely ridiculous and caused poor darling Sophie so many problems, but he also had a heart of gold and helped her in his own misguided way.
To celebrate the release of Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic, I’m going to giveaway a copy of Wishful Thinking and all you need to do is tell me about one of your favourite television shows from when you were growing up and why you loved it so much!