Blog posts tagged "The+Jamie+Drake+Equation"
Last week I appeared on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours talking about the popularity of science-based children's fiction and you can listen to the programme again here. My interview starts at the 30 minutes mark.
Both The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and my forthcoming novel The Jamie Drake Equation were inspired by science, but, as I say in the interview, science lessons for me in school were mostly a battle for control of the gas taps between the kids who wanted to blow up the Science block and those of us who wanted to live. Any experiments we did get round to performing involved rolling marbles down slopes or heating salty water to boiling point and usually went wrong anyway as most major scientific laws didn’t seem to apply in Salford in the 1980s. In the real world, the Voyager spacecraft was flying past Saturn whilst the space shuttle zoomed in and out of orbit, but science in school kept my eyes firmly fixed to the blackboard and didn’t spark for me any sense of wonder about the universe.
It was a different story on my paper round. There, at the bottom of a bag bulging with tomorrow’s chip papers, I discovered 2000AD. This weekly comic was filled with stories of space exploration, alien invaders, genetically-engineered super soldiers, and time-travelling paradoxes. In comic strips such as Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog and Tharg’s Future Shocks, I found stories inspired by theories and discoveries at the cutting edge of science, and used to paint exciting and terrifying pictures of the future. And every week, I’d eagerly flick through the pages of 2000AD as I traipsed round my paper round, my mind whirling with thoughts of alien life and parallel worlds, until the time came to push the rain-spattered copy of the comic through the letterbox of the poor kid who had ordered it.
Unfortunately the interest in science sparked by 2000AD wasn’t enough to prevent me getting a grade D in my GCSE Physics exam, but it did lead me to E.T., The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future and Doctor Who. In the world of fiction, I found real scientific ideas sparkling with a sense of wonder that science in school had kept hidden.
On Saturday 11th February, courtesy of prize tickets from Geek Syndicate, I made a pilgrimage with my brother to London’s Hammersmith Novotel for 2000AD’s 40th Anniversary Festival to say thank you to the writers and artists whose imaginations lit up my childhood in the pages of the galaxy’s greatest comic and helped plant the seeds of an interest in science that eventually blossomed into the books that I write. It was a real thrill to meet Pat Mills, the Charles Dickens of British comics, whose vision for 2000AD and timeless creations have helped to inspire generations of readers.
So thanks for the inspiration 2000AD and here’s to the next 40 years!
On Thursday 2 March 2017 - World Book Day appropriately enough - The Jamie Drake Equation will be published by Nosy Crow, although, as I've heard reports of copies finding their way into shops already, maybe I should just say OUT NOW!
Some fantastic book bloggers, librarians and reviewers are already sharing their first reviews of The Jamie Drake Equation and I'd like to thank them for these kind and thoughtful reviews.
"Reminded me of classics from my own childhood - especially Chocky by John Wyndham and the film E.T." Reading Zone
"This story is a cosmic ray of light that will uplift your soul to the nebulae and back. It will take you on the best journey that the imagination has to offer." Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
"I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and it really didn’t disappoint. This stunning sci-fi adventure is out of this world." Miss Cleveland
"One of those great books that offers a humorous, intelligent, warm and gripping read. I can't wait to get it into the hands of children in my class." North Somerset Teacher's Book Award blog
"A funny, brilliant story with a twist." Sue & Pakka's blog
Thank you too to the brilliant Matt Saunders for the amazing cover he's created for The Jamie Drake Equation. And the ace team at Nosy Crow for all their work too.
Just like for The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, I've created a soundtrack for The Jamie Drake Equation which you can listen to on Spotify below. These are the songs that accompany the action or inspired me in some way as I was writing the book. You can read my guide to creating a book soundtrack here, but I'm very excited to say that I'm going to be talking about the soundtrack to The Jamie Drake Equation and why I think every book should have a soundtrack on Chris Hawkins' Early Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music tomorrow to launch World Book Day week. I should be on just after 6am, so tune in and let Chris know what songs you'd like to soundtrack the books you love.
Update - Click this link to listen to my full interview with Chris Hawkins. Thanks so much Chris, producer Jen and all the team at BBC 6 Music for supporting World Book Day. Reading is the new rock'n'roll!
The Jamie Drake Equation - a chapter-by-chapter tracklisting
1. Wish You Were by Pink Floyd [Chapter 1]
2. D'Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman by Oasis [Chapter 2]
3. Observatory Crest by Mercury Rev [Chapter 4]
4. Pi by Kate Bush [Chapter 8]
5. Out of Space by The Prodigy [Chapter 10]
6. Stars All Seem To Weep by Beth Orton [Chapter 12]
7. Pictures of You by The Cure [Chapter 15]
8. Space Carnival by The Comet is Coming [Chapter 15]
9. New Light of Tomorrow by Husky Rescue [Chapter 16]
10. The Hive by BE [Chapter 16]
11. 1st Man in Space by The All-Seeing Eye [Chapter 18]
12. Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell [Chapter 20]
13. Space Oddity by David Bowie [Chapter 21]
14. Around by Tim Burgess & Peter Gordon [Chapter 22]
15. Blackstar by David Bowie [Chapter 23]
16. Light & Day/Reach for the Sun by The Polyphonic Spree [Chapter 24]
17. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized [Chapter 25]
18. Sky Holds The Sun by The Bees [Chapter 25]
19. All We Have Is Now by The Flaming Lips [Chapter 25]
20. The Moment by Tame Impala [Chapter 26]
Since The Jamie Drake Equation was published last month, I've been thrilled by the reception it's received. It was chosen by Alex O'Connell as the Children's Book of the Week in The Times, selected by Booktrust as one of their March picks and was also picked by Imogen Russell Williams as one of the best new children's books in The Guardian's March review round-up. I've also been delighted by the reviews it's been receiving from brilliant book bloggers such as LH Johnson, Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books, Read It Daddy and the Big Book Project.
It's been wonderful too to have the chance to talk about The Jamie Drake Equation, and in addition to chatting to the ace Chris Hawkins on BBC 6 Music to launch World Book Day week, I also had the pleasure of being interviewed by top children's author Philip Womack for Books for Keeps magazine. I also blogged about the top 3 influences behind the book for Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books, absent parents in children's fiction for Minerva Reads, and the inspiration I've found in science for the Federation of Children's Book Groups.
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright is also making it's way round the world, with Delacorte Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, publishing the North American edition at the end of May, with translations also appearing or on their way in Poland, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, China, Japan and South Korea. Huge thanks to all the team at Nosy Crow for their work helping Albie to see the world!
Finally, I also received the brilliant news last month that The Many Worlds of Albie Bright was the winner of the 2017 Brilliant Book Award! This award is managed by the Nottinghamshire Education Library Service, with the winner voted for by KS3 students from schools in Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City and Derbyshire. A huge thank you to Rachel and all the team at Inspire behind the award for the work they do inspiring readers and to all the students themselves, especially those who voted for Albie!