Peter Millett is the author of the funny, action-packed secret agent series, Johnny Danger. So far there are two books in the series, D.I.Y. Spy and Lie Another Day. With the third book, Spy Borg, being released in September Peter wants to give readers a special preview of the cover. Peter joins me today to talk about why he created the Johnny Danger series and gives us a sneak peak of the Spy Borg cover.
Johnny Danger is turning into one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on in my career as a children’s author.
I’ve created the series with two audiences in mind: students and teachers. Firstly, students aged 8 – 12 years will enjoy the slapstick comedy, outrageous pranks, spectacular action sequences and unpredictable story twists that Johnny Danger and Penelope Pounds experience as teen spies working for MI6. Secondly, teachers and parents will appreciate the fun I am poking at the James Bond spy series and enjoy the subtle sense of hidden humour that is at play in the background. I am an eternal prankster and I have purposely littered the book with all sorts of comedy traps to catch readers of all ages off-guard.
My wife has taught Year 6 students for over 20 years and I am more than aware that teachers re-read certain stories in their classrooms each year and that they want these stories to maintain a fresh and energetic feel over multiple readings. The Johnny Danger series has been created for such purposes.
The comedy is broad and will appeal equally to both boys and girls. I’ve gone to great lengths to construct well-planned plots that end satisfactorily and unexpectedly. I’ve also made sure that the scatological humour used in the books doesn’t overtake the storytelling.
Additionally, books one and two contain DIY spy codes that can be emulated in the classroom by students. The first book uses humorous anagrams as the basis of an intricate software hacking system, and the second book uses upside down calculator spelling words to hide vital codes. Both these DIY codes can be created by student readers with everyday school or household resources.
We live in an increasingly multimedia-orientated world and I have decided to embrace a number of new technologies to help connect readers with the Johnny Danger series.
The digital trailer for book one “DIY Spy” uses state-of-the-art 2D animation to project the spirit of the main character:
The trailer for book two ‘Lie Another Day” uses a mixture of live-action footage and green screen technologies to display the off-the-wall comedic moments of the book as well as hinting at the plot:
Finally I made an appearance on national television so that readers could hear first-hand what they were in for if they read Johnny Danger.
I hope the Johnny Danger series is remembered as one of the funniest sets of children’s books ever to be released down under. I also hope that reluctant readers find them a gateway to discovering a love of comedy fiction.
As a ‘special feature’ to this blog I’m including the world premiere of the cover of book three “Spy Borg”.
(Please note that this blog will self-destruct in five minutes time!)
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