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Tommy, God of the Island of Wonder

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Hello everyone. How are you all?

I have finally finished writing Tommy, God of the Island of Wonder. A kids book about a wish testing ground. Your feedback would be wonderfull.

Some backstory first.The idea for this story came out of a discussion I was having with my then eight year old daughter, Kassidy, about two years ago. I had already written a few comedy novels for an older audience and was thinking about writing a kids book. Kassidy was complaining that so many books that we read at bedtime have boring bits in them and why can't someone write a book for kids that was funny and had all the boring bits taken out. We were walking around Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth during this discussion and by the time the walk was over we had established a few rules and come up with the two main characters; Tommy, and The Disco Voodoo King, the setting (Island of Wonder) and come up with a few wishes for him to test out.

We had also come up with some rules. 1: Tommy is not an orphan. His family are well, and everything at home is just fine. 2: No moral lesson will be learned. 3: it must be funny.

After the first half of the story was written (which was very much a collaboration with my daughter) I sent it to a few writer friends for some feedback. "It needs more tension" one said, "Maybe Tommy has to save his sister in some way" said another. The general consensus was that Tommy should have a hard life and need to resolve some kind of conflict. Exactly what I thought they would say. So I put it to one of them (our very own Rob Gregson) to read it to his son. He did, right after he finished reading a Michael Morpurgo book to him (This was good news. The kid would be bored out of his mind after reading Morpurgo).

He sent me an email a few days later saying he read the eight or so chapters I had sent him and had come across a problem. His son was laughing so much he started hiccuping and it took him a good hour to calm him down. And on a school night too. Success! He demanded I finish the book as soon as possible because his son is dying to find out what happens next.

Well, it took me a year, but the book is now done.

If anyone would like a copy let me know.

message 2: by Rob (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 374 comments Mod
Well, obviously I do, but you knew that. I'm going to send it to my Kindle tonight. My son will be delighted.

message 3: by Cee (new)

Cee Jackson (ceeteejackson) | 178 comments Hi Andrew,

I'd like to have a copy, if possible. Purely for selfish reasons ... I like to look and learn how all you guys write good light-hearted stories.

Of course, I'll give feedback, but I am a bit bogged down right now what with sport stuff and an ailing, ageing cat that simply won't leave me alone to write my own damn book.

But defo, I'd love to have a look.


message 4: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
On it's way Cee Tee!

message 5: by Cee (new)

Cee Jackson (ceeteejackson) | 178 comments Got it, Andy.


message 6: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 126 comments Me too please. I'm woefully behind, but will do my best to give you some feedback.

message 7: by Nico Meert (new)

Nico Meert | 11 comments I would like to read it and give comment but my Reading is a bit slow at the moment

message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Will and Nico it will be a pleasure to send you both a copy. I'll have send them tomorrow. I am accidentally in a hotel in Torquay tonight with no provisions and no laptop. If I can work out a way to send it by phone I will send it tonight. Cheers!

message 9: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 126 comments No rush. I'm a presiding officer at the general election tomorrow, so won't be able to look at it. No laptops allowed!

message 10: by Rob (last edited Jun 09, 2017 06:05AM) (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 374 comments Mod
Hi Andy,

I've read it! Do I win a prize?

No? Oh, well sod it then. I'll send you an email instead.

Oh, but as a closing remark that might get the CLOGsters wondering, I am relieved to say that my review need make no reference whatever to horse semen. (And if that makes no sense to the rest of you, then I suggest you follow Mr Chappers on Facebook.)

message 11: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Excellent. It's better than the new Pirates of the Caribbean then. That film was dripping with the stuff.

And you do win a prize. I will list you in the acknowledgements section of my next book. "And thank you to Rob Gregson for his soft lips and large collection of French stamps." Or something equally confusing and absurd.

In fact anyone who reviews any of my books, here, on Amazon, or anywhere, will get the same treatment.

message 12: by Rob (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 374 comments Mod
Can I please withdraw my support?

message 13: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Haha fine. No prizes. I think I left a bottle of wishey rolling arpund the main hall of CLOG HQ though. People are welcome to help themselves.

message 14: by Rob (last edited Jun 09, 2017 07:41AM) (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 374 comments Mod
Ah, yes, that delicious Sosh Wishey. I'll go find it...

message 15: by Rob (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 374 comments Mod
Wait a minute. It's empty...

message 16: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Whisky is my nemesis word. One day I will get it right.

message 17: by Cee (new)

Cee Jackson (ceeteejackson) | 178 comments Man! You must have been on some crazy trips in your lifetime, ol' Chappers. This tale is like some freaked out tv advert for fruit pastilles. And I love fruit pastilles.

I have no idea what age group you've targeted for this - maybe @ 8-11 year olds? - but I can see kids going for this , most definitely.

You've ticked all the kids' boxes with dinosaurs, sweets, lasers, Disco Voodoo King, and farts. Farts do it all the time. BIG tick.

I love the idea of time effectively being frozen as you make a wish, and you being whisked off into the ether. And the thought that your wish should be meaningful.

The ending was brilliant, I thought, in the way that it was almost too quick and anti-climatic, if you see what i mean..

Once you get this out there, I'll be happy to spread the word.

(There are a couple of spellos that need tidying up, which 'm sure you're aware of.)

Nice one.

message 18: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Cheers Cee-Tee!

The age group you've mentioned is about right. Me and Kassidy (daughter) came up with the idea about 2 years ago and now she's 11. It was aimed at making her laugh so it makes sense.

I'm glad you liked the ending. I took a risk with it. You guys are smart comedy writers though, I'm curious what the agents I sent it out to are going to have to say about it. If they think it was unintentional I'm screwed. I'm not sure they're going to appreciate it's purpose. Time will tell!

message 19: by Corben (new)

Corben (the_dook) | 139 comments I’ve read it. Sorry for the delay. It's hilarious, man. Absolutely no problem with the humour. And I love the premise of an island where wishes are tested. Another plus point is the surreal island imagery. And the characters you've created are excellent. I think you’re onto something here … kid's literature suits you.

Some suggestions:
It needs illustrating. I vaguely remember you drawing the DVK. Not required if you’re off in search of a publisher since they have their preferred illustrators. But if you’re self-pubbing you’d better get those drawing crayons out.

The DVK is my favourite character and, as much as I love him, I feel there’s scope to strengthen him still further. How about a Jamaican accent? Also, maybe he has a physical or mental disability that Tommy has to react to … Tourettes would be interesting.

Kids are bound to love a big dim dinosaur so use him a bit more. He’s in the final chapters but he doesn’t do very much.

The fact that Tommy’s final wish is typically boyish and shallow made me laugh but I guess publishers will be looking for some profound truth that changes the boy’s life and leaves the reader with some meaningful message. Personally I’d leave it shallow because it’s funnier that way but that might mean self-pubbing and giving up the dream of becoming rich and famous.

The only other thing is that you’ll need to polish the whole thing up and tighten up some sections. Chapter 6 could be cut down a bit.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops from here. Very nice work Mr Chappers.

message 20: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Thanks Corben.

Everyone seems to be saying very positive things about it so far. This is good.

It's a lot of fun writing a kids book. I hope I can come up with a good second idea. I'm surprised a book about a testing ground for wishes hasn't been done before. I feel like I've stumbled onto something good.

message 21: by Ted (new)

Ted Dunphy | 16 comments Hi everyone
I’m hoping to make a return to these sublime and subliminal pages of delight and humour. My absence has been a long one, partly my own fault but not entirely down to me. You can select from the following explanations for my silence: -
1) I died and have only just been resurrected
2) I was locked up in a Gulag for saying Putin would like to be gay
3) I toured the world and was lost most of the time
4) I was detained at O’Hare airport when I told an immigration official that Donnie Trump should expect a right slap if he invades UK this year.
Will I be allowed to slip unnoticed into your esteemed ranks once more?
So relieved to see so many familiar faces still going strong.

message 22: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 179 comments Mod
Chaps, this has nothing to do with Tommy, but good news; I might be on the verge of a full time writing job! I lost my job a few months ago and figured, instead of marching right back into familiar work, I would try and get this writing career off the ground.

Tommy has started to be sent out to agents and feedback so far has been good (personalized rejections). And I applied for a writing job for WhatCulture magazine and might actually have got it! I am now on a two week trial! Wish me luck!

The first article is already up! -

message 23: by Corben (new)

Corben (the_dook) | 139 comments Handyman Chap - Congrats on your new venture. I see that What Culture Mag prefers list based articles. To get your career off to a great start I've got some suggestions:

10 Best Books featuring large Yorkshiremen who land on Mars,
10 Best Mars stories where the robot characters are preferable to the humans

I've got enough ideas to keep you going until 2087 ... when we'll both be dead.

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