Thursday, May 12, 2022

SUPERKICKS _____ Secrets revealed: how I wrote these thrilling football stories for young readers

NOTE: Hi! I recently posted an update clarifying Benedict Boo's role in this series, you can read it here. You can also read other posts in the Superkicks: The Secret Journals series here.

All illustrations here are from the Superkicks books
Keeping journals is something lots of writers do, and it's a great habit to have if you want to improve your craft and creativity.

Recently I've been going through my old writing journals in our Super Cool Books studio, and I came across those that I used for creating the three books in my Superkicks football fiction series: Time to Play, Best Shot, and Dare to Dream.

I had a good time looking at all the ideas and sketches that I made when I was preparing to write the books. I'm very happy to share some insights here, so that they can inspire you on your own writing journey too. There will be more posts in the future about this, so do follow us.

Why I love football stories

As I've shared before (here), the inspiration for this really came many decades ago, when I was still in primary school.

I had a collection of British football comics that I inherited from my older cousins, they were twins.

One comic series was Roy of the Rovers, and the other was called Tiger. (The links lead to the Wikipedia pages for these comics.)

Each issue featured a bunch of different football stories that would continue every week.

And these tales didn't just focus on the game, but also explored the team relationships, the personal and emotional challenges, and also the craziness that sometimes happens when people get carried away with their passions.  

Some of the stories had been running on and on for decades already, based on the same characters. I was amazed to see that it was possible to develop such an epic level of storytelling.

I still remember thinking to myself that one day I would like to try creating a football series myself, and give young readers a similar reading experience.  

This was how Superkicks came to be.

How I came up with the title of this series

Whenever I start working on a new book, or a new series, I often begin by deciding on a tagline that captures the concept and the emotional direction.

It's important to get this tagline right, because it really helps me focus, and I can then gather more ideas to flesh out the premise.

For this series, the tagline I came up with was: "Super Cool Books is excited to bring you some Super Cool Kicks!"

I liked that the word "kicks" here is a pun, it has three relevant meanings:

1. to hit something with your foot
2. something thrilling
3. a hip slang for sports shoes

This tagline was obviously too long to be the title of the book, so I played around with it and eventually decided to just keep the first and last words: "Super … Kicks".

When I wrote this out as one word, I thought, wow, this would be a really cool and punchy title indeed!

And that was how Superkicks got its name.

Bringing my Superkicks publishing journey to you

I have a lot more stuff to share with you, from my Superkicks journals.

Like how the girl footballers in this series were inspired by a group of female friends from my old university hostel, who came together to form their own football club. Fun fact: back then my wife was their goalkeeper for a while.
And how we worked out the publishing process.

You'll also learn how some of the funniest bits in the series were actually contributed by one of my sons, he has a nice knack for linguistic humour.

So look out for my future posts!
Writing a story is not just about knowing what words to use. It is about diving into your own personal life moments, and turning this into a wonderful reading experience that others can share and find a meaning in.

The truth is powerful indeed.

I hope my Superkicks journals help you create your own stories too.

Be proud of your own talent, work diligently to improve yourself, and be confident to share what you've created with the world.

The next time you read one of my Superkicks books, I hope you remember these points.

I wish you a happy life!

— Don
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