I grew up in Dudley in the West Midlands, in England. When I was little, I loved reading, playing football, and picking my nose (but not all at the same time). My mum and dad often took me and my brothers to the library on Saturday mornings and I’d borrow as many books as I could. Some of my favourites were the football books of Michael Hardcastle, the ‘mystery’ series by Enid Blyton, and absolutely everything by Roald Dahl.
I think I was 7 or 8 when I started writing stories. I remember my first story, which was called something like ‘Slow And Steady Wins The Race, ’Cos Cheats Never Prosper’. I’ve got better at titles, since then. I brought it into ‘show and tell’, but David Jenkins brought in a glow-in-the-dark badge, and so nobody wanted to hear my story. Tough crowd.
I don’t think I’m naturally talented at writing – I just practised a lot. Since I realised I would never play centre-forward for West Bromwich Albion (unless there was an absolutely massive injury crisis), I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve done other jobs, and lived in Istanbul, Turkey and Penang, Malaysia, but I’ve always been writing things. I still love reading, too – my favourite authors are probably Charles Dickens, Damon Runyon and Mark Twain. My favourite writers who aren’t dead include Roddy Doyle and Tim Winton.
One of the best things about being a dad (other than treading on My Little Ponies barefoot in the dark, which is a big favourite) is reading bedtime stories to my daughters – it gives me the chance to love children’s books all over again. What I like most about writing for kids is that, when you’re young, you often lose yourself completely in a book. This still happens sometimes when you get older, but it’s harder somehow.
I live in Brisbane, Australia with my wife and two daughters. When the girls are out at school, I write, and do other exciting things, like drink cups of tea, do the washing up and pick up My Little Ponies.
The next chapter
Before the Squirrel Boy books, I wrote a series of 6 books about the adventures of a boy and his genius hamster. I’m currently working on a series of funny books about pirates, a couple of picture books, and an adventure book for older kids. I haven’t run out of ideas, yet, and hopefully I never will.
If I were a book, I’d be a funny, thick one. That’s how my family describes me, anyway.
If I could climb inside a story, it would probably be sailing down the Mississippi with Huckleberry Finn and Jim, or in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (although I’d probably end up the same way as Augustus Gloop).
About Squirrel Boy
I love comic books and graphic novels. Everyone knows the story of Peter Parker, who was bitten by a radioactive spider and turned into Spiderman. I though to myself: what if another radioactive animal had bitten him. What if an ordinary 10 year-old boy – Walter – was bitten by a radioactive squirrel? And what if the only person who knew his secret was his elderly next-door neighbour, Mrs Onions? And what if she wanted to be his sidekick?
My website is: http://www.davelowebooks.com/
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