Not that I’ve been balancing on crocodiles, but I have been working on getting the balance right for my new book, Ted Goes Wild (illustrated by Tom Jellett).
Like most things in life, a well told story is a delicate balancing act. In my stories, I’m trying to strike a balance between having
1) enough action for the adventure to skip along effortlessly
2) enough touches of humour to keep it entertaining
3) enough surprises to keep you wondering what will happen next, and,
4) enough pathos to engage the reader emotionally.
I felt my original draft of Ted was pacey enough, had enough humour, and enough unpredictability, but it was lacking in pathos (or what’s sometimes call ‘heart’). So to get that right, my wonderful editor and publisher at Penguin, asked me to write an emotionally engaging backstory.
In response, I came up with the tale of Ted’s fraught early life which almost ended tragically, before he was rescued and nursed back to life by two kind, elderly teddy bears. And how, in his gratitude for getting a second chance at life, he’s made a personal pledge to spend the rest of his life in the service of others.
It’s a backstory aimed at adding pathos and heart to Ted Goes Wild, and giving it the balance it needed. If we’ve got it right we’ll have balanced action with humour, surprise and heart. We don’t know yet if we’ve got it right, but now that it’s in the bookshops, we’ll soon find out.
Fully equipped, superbly trained and afraid of nothing (well, almost), Ted has dedicated his life to saving and serving others.
But will his rescue mission to the Wild Forest knock the stuffing out of him once and for all? And will he ever return to his loving owner, Oliver?
Warm-hearted, thrilling and delightfully silly, this magical-adventure series will captivate young readers.