I recently had the pleasure of meeting funny man and children’s book author, Adam Wallace, creator of titles including Mac O’Beasty, The Negatees, The Pete McGee series, Jamie Brown is Not Rich, and Better Out Than In. I am even more fortunate that he has agreed to answer some of my questions!
Firstly, congratulations on being shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2014 for Better Out Than In Number Twos!
Thanks heaps, Romi! It was definitely a shock and a thrill. I am in very esteemed company too, nominated among names like Griffiths, Jennings and Marsden. I mean, I’ve never heard of these wannabee authors, but someone tells me they’re pretty good. I might check them out sometime.
Can you please tell us a brief run down on what the story is about?
Well, it’s all very sophisticated, a story of class and romance … oh no, wait, that’s not my book, that’s Pride and Prejudice. Mine has six short stories, all in rhyme, and all extremely gross, disgusting and funny! It’s the sequel to Better Out Than In, which was all very sophisticated … ah dammit, I did it again. That one’s gross too. Basically, I wanted to make children laugh and get a buzz out of reading, so it’s about things that make kids laugh.
Considering the nature of this series, I’m a bit wary to ask… how did the idea for these come about?
Well, they’re all based on my wife, Andrea … haha, just kidding. Actually, there is one story based on something she did once but I won’t tell you which one it was.
It was Bob’s Burp.
I wrote the very first story, Whoops, because I had been writing stories with messages. They were still funny, but I wanted to write something that was just funny. So I wrote it, read it to some kids at the After Care I was working at, and they loved it and asked for more stories on similar topics and I just went from there.
Do you have plans to write Better Out Than In Number Threes? Fours? Fives?
Haha, I wasn’t going to, but then a kid at a school said that if I did a third one I should call it Better Out Than In the Turd. I was gobsmacked. I thought it was genius, pure genius. So now I am slightly tempted to give it a go, but only after I have finished the projects I am currently working on.
Better Out Than In the Turd.
Sounds awesome! Do it!
Besides writing disgustingly funny stories, I understand you make visits to schools around Melbourne. What’s it like meeting a bunch of excitable kids?
I love it! It is so much fun. It is totally draining at the same time, but it really gives me a buzz. They have such great energy, and are such an honest crowd. They will only react to something if they really like it (or don’t like it), so when you can get a whole group laughing you know you have earned it.
What are your favourite things to do with them?
I do readings, I do brainstorming activities, and I do cartooning with them, and they’re all my favourite! With the reading I love getting a laugh out of them, and with the brainstorming I love the brilliant and often hilarious ideas they come up with. With drawing, I love seeing them take what I show them and turn it into their own unique version.
What’s the most impressive piece of work or display, relating to you, that you’ve seen from the kids?
I went to Tucker Rd Primary School in Bentleigh the other week, and they had done a display covering an entire wall. It had facts about me, questions for me, Wanted posters about me, pictures of me and, most impressive of all, a working toilet on the wall! When I say working, you could pull a string and the lid would open up! So awesome!
A tribute to Adam Wallace… nice!
Have they said anything funny or shocking that caught you by surprise? How did you deal with that?
One time I gave what I thought was an awesome session to some preps, and at the end I asked if there were any questions. One kid up the front put up his hand and said, ‘Why are your ears pointy like an elf?’ It had obviously been playing on his mind the whole session, so I thought I should answer him honestly and openly.
‘Because I’m half-elf,’ I said.
‘Okay,’ was his response.
I have got some mileage out of that one!
Then last week I had this great exchange.
Kid: Does your hand get sore when you write your stories?
Me: Sometimes, because I hold my pen funny.
Kid: YOU WRITE YOUR STORIES WITH A PEN??????????
Do you ever get time away from kid-type ventures? Do you have any other hobbies?
Ummm, does an afternoon nap count? Oh, actually, I guess kids do that too. If I call it a siesta I think that makes it grown up, though! I do have some hobbies. I love playing golf, although don’t do it nearly enough. I also love going to live comedy and live music, and do that as often as I am able. I am also trying to teach myself piano. I learnt when I was about 8, so it is slowly coming back to me.
Are you ever serious? Or is there constant laughter in your household?
I tried being serious once, but I wasn’t very good at it. It was kind of boring, and so was I!!! We do like to laugh a lot in our house, often at my dancing skills, but I haven’t tried to get my wife to piggy back me since the great piggy back dancing debacle of 2013.
Let us never speak of that again.
Can you reveal any more that us ‘Adam Wallace’ fans can expect from you in the near future?
Well I can’t reveal too much. Last time I did that there were police involved! Oh … you mean books! Whoops!
I have a book called Random which is currently being edited and laid out, and there is a tentative release date of early 2015. That’s just a random collection of random things and random pictures scattered randomly throughout a random book!
I also have a book about to be illustrated by the awesome James Hart that will hopefully be out at around the same time. That one’s called Accidentally Awesome, and is the first of what will be a long series. It’s a about a totally clumsy kid whose clumsiness leads to awesomeness … eventually.
That sounds very exciting! We’ll be sure to look out for your new releases!
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Adam! It has been a blast!
My pleasure, thanks for letting me answer them!
Discover more about the scintillatingly hilarious Adam Wallace at:
To WIN a SIGNED COPY of Adam Wallace’s Better Out Than In Number Twos, all you need to do is head over to My Little Story Corner, and answer the following question by 11.59pm AEST Friday August 29, 2014:
What are the TWO (2) titles of Adam Wallace’s books that are due to be released early 2015?