Monday, June 18, 2012


On The Top of the World

Phew! I've done it. Finished The Young Dictator at last!

Now it's just a case of finding a publisher. I have a few leads that I intend to chase up. This is the first YA (Young Adult) novel I have ever attempted and I must say that it was hard work because I had to change the way I work. Complex plotting and difficult wordplay was out; I wanted this book to be accessible to young readers. In many ways, I'm not the right person to attempt to write a YA novel. I don't know the market well enough. But I do think I can contribute something new to the genre.

The first chapter of The Young Dictator has already been published as a story in the Spring issue of the BFS Journal. That chapter sees 12 year old Jenny Khan standing as an independent candidate for her home town of Carrington, winning a by-election and going to Westminster to take her seat. But there's a hung Parliament and she holds the balance of power. Under the malign influence of her Gran, Jenny quickly rises to overthrow democracy and become the dictator of Britain.

Subsequent chapters detail our heroine's adventures in outer space and we follow her through a black hole into Hell, where she competes with the Devil; and also later in cyberspace, after a cartel of rival dictators decide that she's getting too big for her boots; and then back to Earth for more japes with wooden robots, goblins, four-armed skargills, giant cats, brass men and all the other unusual dangers that I typically decided she needed to face...

My reading of that first chapter in the BFS journal was very enjoyable. There was an earlier girl version of JUST WILLIAM called Jane Turpin by Evadne Price earlier last century. You successfully tap into that ethos - perhaps inadvertently - together with a real Rhys-Hughesian feel for a young audience. I anticipate success for this novel.
The Angry Robot YA imprint, Strange Chemistry, might be up for it -
Thanks for the comments and that suggestion!
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