I’m just leaving a school event in early December when a boisterous chap who’d been in my event sticks his head out of his classroom window.
“Oy, Ivan!” he shouts. “You’re an idiot!”
Most authors would be insulted by this, but not me. “Why thank you,” I reply, give him a wave and make to leave.
But he’s not disappeared back behind his window. He wants a proper response, and I’m not going to deny him. “But compared to you, I’m nothing.”
He grins, says “Yssssss”, and then his friend’s head pops up.
“What about me? Am I an idiot?”
“Yup,” I say. Even more than your mate.”
The second boy high-fives the first and they slip back into their classroom, satisfied.
My full-time job involves calling children idiots, and I love it. How did it come to this?
The Casper Candlewacks series, my first foray into publishing, is all about glorifying the idiot. And I don’t mean stupid people – I mean all of us. I want to celebrate everything that’s wrong with us, our clumsiness, our bad decisions, the ugly bits that we usually try to tuck away and hide. When I go into schools the first thing I do is prove to the kids that I’m an idiot. Then I let them prove they’re idiots, then we sing the idiots’ national anthem (‘How Much Is That Doggy In The Window, but backwards, if you’re asking. I’ll sing it for you if you ask nicely.) and happy in our shared idiocy we get on with the rest of the session.
Once you’ve got someone to be proud of their bad bits, what is there to be scared of? Nothing, is the answer. Nothing at all. How brilliant is that?
And that’s what I try to do in Casper Candlewacks. In the village of Corne-on-the-Kobb, idiots rule. But it makes for a whole lot more fun, and lets the crazy stuff that goes on seem absolutely normal. In Casper Candlewacks in The Claws of Crime, which is out today, we’ve got French cat burglars, huge bejewelled swords, an egg-boiling lie-detector, multiple defenestration and quite a few clobs round the head with a cricket bat. Where else but in a village of idiots?
Today (5th January) sees many books being published. The question is, which book do you pick to read? Sounds easier than it is as there's so much choice to select from. However, let me make it easier for you - if you need a pick me up, perhaps with a hobnob and a cup of laughter, then this is definitely the book to seek out. As every good idiot knows (myself included, so I'm told) then you'd be idiot not to read this book. Funny, zany and totally off the wall with mad ideas, it will have you feeling much better about the dark and dreary January we find ourselves in. By the way, did I tell you that I was an Idiot too... ?
Thank you Ivan for sharing some information about your new book. I hope the 'Claws of Crime' finds itself doing time on many bookshelves, both young and old. Anyway, out today, you should be able to locate a copy in your local bookshop - so what are you waiting for? Go and grab a copy.