You may remember my ‘Awesome Author Interview with Adam Wallace’ from last year (if not, click the link!). Adam Wallace has had heaps of books published over the last 10 years, including the totally gross chapter book series ‘Better Out Than In’ and ‘Better Out Than In Number Twos’, the frightening ‘Pete McGee’ trilogy, the freshly-pressed ‘Random’, and picture books including ‘The Negatees’, ‘The Share-a-Not’ and ‘Mac O’Beasty’.
Well, he’s back again with some more ‘awesomeness’ and side-splitting comedy for us! Introducing his brand-spanking-new junior fiction chapter book (which is the first in the planned series, and of which he self published, by the way), ‘Accidentally Awesome!’
Have you ever done something so embarrassing that actually made you a hero? Have you ever hurtled down a hill on your bike, only to fortuitously crash into a handbag thief and save the day? What about setting off an airshow of false teeth in the old age home, only to have them miraculously reunited with open mouths? Well, Jackson Payne has done these things. But he didn’t mean to. He became totally awesome by accident.
In Adam Wallace and James Hart’s ‘Accidentally Awesome’, young readers will relish every bit of Jackson’s highly entertaining, yet somewhat unbelievable, journey that sees him come full circle.
With loads of slapstick comedy to have you bursting at the ribs, this story is not for the faint-hearted. Head butting crooks, rescuing half-frozen cats, and pleasing old, slobbering ladies give Jackson plenty of reason to want to quit fluking happy endings. But when he does, this causes more problems like blood noses, squashing innocent birds and allowing bank robbers to escape. Super evil villain doesn’t suit him either, so deciding to help people on purpose seems like the way to go. Jackson ropes the bank robber in to his genius plan; to use his ‘accidental awesomeness’ for stopping him from mugging Mr Popadopolus, the cupcake man. When his plan doesn’t exactly, well, go to plan, Nan is there to teach him some life lessons, in a roundabout, obtuse, confusing kind of way. The point: Be Yourself.
After long thought, some rest and a giant sun cupcake literally visiting him in his dreams, Jackson finally realises that being lucky is something to appreciate and helping people is reward in itself. In a hilarious ending involving Jackson and the bank robber, and a whole big rhyming debate, he returns to true form of being his clumsy ‘accidentally awesome’ hero self once more, and saves the day.
Adam Wallace’s language is clever, conversational and completely comical. His wit is sharp, with phrases like, ”If I tell the absolute no-lie stick a needle in my eye truth…” (Get it? Needle = Sharp!). And equally humorous and expressive are illustrator, James Hart’s energetic drawings that perfectly compliment the ludicrous situations in the story. ‘Accidentally Awesome!’ is highly recommended for kids from six years old who are looking for an engaging laugh-out-loud (LOL!) read.
Krueger Wallace Press, 2015.
I just had to know a bit more, so I asked Adam a few questions…
Congratulations on the release of ‘Accidentally Awesome!’. How have you felt about your self publishing journey?
Well, it’s been a long one. The first book I ever published was a self-published book, way back in 2004. So it is like I have sort of gone full-circle now, going back to full self-publishing. Now though I have a chunk of experience to fall back on, and also a fan base I have built up over the years. So I am heading in with a stronger starting point, and hopefully that will be a bonus!
What was your favourite part of the story to write?
There are two parts really. I loved writing the conversation between Jackson and his nan. Doing dialogue like that is really fun, especially making Jackson kinda dopey in it. But I also really liked writing the slapstick humour, trying to get across the physicality of what was happening and keeping it sharp and funny.
What has it been like to work with illustrator, James Hart?
He’s awesome, and not accidentally! James and I have wanted to work together for years now, and as soon as I was able to choose the illustrator, he was top of my list. He’s kind of a legend, and we had some great fun meeting and working out the stories.
What is your best ‘accidentally awesome’ moment of all time?
Oooooh, good question … now it needs a good answer! I think it was the time I tried to put money on 19 at the casino and the chip slipped onto 20 and I was too shy to let them know it was the wrong number but then 20 came up!!! Totally accidental, totally awesome!
Thanks heaps, Adam! That was ‘ORSM’! (Adam’s new way of spelling ‘awesome’!)