Maxx Rumble is a sports-loving boy who tends to exaggerate when he gets excited (like some boys do – including me). That’s why, during a normal game of football, cricket or soccer, he might end up:
- breaking every bone in his ribcage
- dodging hailstones the size of watermelons
- or kicking a goal while he’s in a wheelchair and wrapped in bandages like a mummy!
His imagination sometimes gets the better of him. But that’s okay because it makes his sporting stories extra fun and exciting.
First few ideas
I invented Maxx in 2003 when I noticed my son and his mates tended to exaggerate about their own sporting adventures. They were in primary school at the time and told some wonderfully entertaining (though not entirely reliable) stories about the amazing things that had happened to them on the sports field.
But I was equally inspired by an ad on TV at the time, which showed a kid who was about five talking about the time that he ‘got bitten by a crocodile’. As he recounted this imaginary story, he got so wound up that his legs and guts were flying all over the place. It was a very funny ad and I thought the boy was a natural storyteller. So I decided to make a character who got very carried away in his storytelling – but whose stories were so much fun that it didn’t matter if they were entirely true or not.
Then my son, Wil, had a friend over to play. His name was Beren Rumble. I liked Beren’s name a lot, but I didn’t want to take his whole name, just in case I wrote something that embarrassed him. So I took his surname and added the name Max.
Max was my wife’s suggestion. She thought it sounded like a fun, sporty name for a boy. I thought she was right, so that’s what he became. I then added the second x to his name because I’d noticed a trend towards unique spellings in names and I thought I’d do something a bit different with Max. He became Maxx.
Also around this time, I remember lying in bed one Saturday morning, when the word “crunched” popped into my head. Along with it came an instinctive feeling that it was important. I wrote it in my journal and waited to see what (if anything) would become of it. Then I added it to the name Maxx Rumble and the idea of exaggerated sporting stories and a series was born.
Strangely for me, I vividly remember the creation of Maxx Rumble. Maybe it’s because it’s the series that established my career as an author, or maybe it’s because I really love the little guy.
What others are saying about Maxx Rumble Footy
‘You know an author has done well when a review copy arrives in the mail and your son leaps around like an AFL best-on-ground footballer and takes a dive straight onto his bed, book tucked under his arm like a red Sherrin. Yes. This actually happened … Totally action-packed, cleverly-plotted and stacks of kooky fun, Wagner’s Maxx Rumble series are a fabulous romp into the mind-boggling world of boundless energy that is boys.’ Tania McCartney, Kids Book Review
‘Full of cool illustrations and nail-biting events, you’ll love this sporting series.’ Disney Magazine
‘The series provides non-stop action all the way and will, I suspect, be enormously popular with younger primary school readers, both boys and girls.’ Russ Merrin, Magpies Magazine
‘I love these little books about Maxx Rumble… easy to read for the younger reader, but right through to adults will get a laugh.’ Joan Steinman, Ballarat Courier
‘Each book is a quick read, self-contained and full of laughs. The comic illustrations by Terry Denton on every page add to the fun. Read alone or as a series, these are plenty of fun for sports-mad youngsters. Sally Murphy, www.aussiereviews.com
‘Both series are thrilling, exciting and the pictures from Terry Denton are great. People who love their sports will love these books.’ Matthew U. of Year 7
‘Even the most reluctant reader will find these books irresistible – I did, and I don’t even like Aussie Rules!’ Kerry Foster, Good Reading
‘The fun, fast-moving and madcap stories celebrate the uniquely Australian sport of footy.’ Classroom Magazine
‘This is the perfect read for kids who love to get caught up in the excitement of footy fever action!’ Disney Adventures Magazine