The first edition of ‘A Dangerous Game of Football’ – Book 1 of the Jack Burnside Adventures – had a print run of 1500 copies. Hugely popular among the 8 – 12 age group, a second edition was planned with the same cover but with a new title, ‘A Dangerous Game,’ hoping this fast-paced adventure would then attract more girls.
Only later did I realise that the original title was by far the better, standing out from the crowd and attracting as many girls as boys to the series. It was a good lesson learned – the importance of choosing the right title – although in today’s on-line world it is almost impossible to select a title not already in use. I think I have succeeded with ‘Age and the Antique Sideboard’. Whenever I Google the title, up comes a series of beautiful antique wooden sideboards + my book!
I have been told on many many occasions that the success of A Dangerous Game was due in no small part to a camel – a sarcastic, wise-cracking, smelly beast who saved Jack’s life’s on several occasions and developed a fanclub all of his own … Bud. And I had no clue when I began writing Book 3 – The Lions of Trafalgar – that another memorable characterwas waiting in the wings – Capstick – one of the lions that guard Nelson in Trafalgar Square.
I hope a new generation of 8 – 12’s will discover these books – they certainly won’t be disappointed. Recently, I have come upon some very dog-eared copies in various libraries, testament to how often they are read.
For early Christmas shoppers – The Jack Burnside Trilogy is on special offer at £5 per book until December 15. (See website: http://www.barbaraspencer.co.uk)