‘My Cousin is a Time Traveller,’ by David Solomons, illustrated by Robin Boyden.

Today is my stop on the blog tour for the final instalment in the award-winning ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ series and this time your household appliances are out to get you!  I also have a fascinating piece by David Solomons about his anxiety as a child, his interesting treatment and endings actually being beginnings.

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Luke has just about come to terms with the fact that his older brother Zack was bestowed with superpowers after he missed a visit from Zorbon the Decider due to a poorly-timed wee, but he’s not sure he can come to terms with the fact that Zack is considering giving up his powers. And no, they are not transferable!

However, when the boys’ cousin, Dina, arrives from the future wearing a flashy watch, some suspect shoulder pads and bearing a dire warning from the future, will Zack be forced to reconsider? The machines are finally rising up against humanity. They must be stopped or humankind is toast!

Hear David chat more about the final instalment and his future plans HERE on my podcast.

As consistently funny, clever and thought-provoking as you would expect and a fitting end to a brilliant series. I’m holding out hope for a graphic novel adventure for Star Lad and S.C.A.R.F. in the future!

Now it’s time for David to explore how becoming an author of funny books would have seemed a fairly unlikely career choice to those who knew him as a child and where his deep and long-lasting love of Star Wars and comics has come from.

Funny books. Seriously? by David Solomons

I was not a funny boy. I was too busy being anxious to crack jokes. So, when my parents would throw me birthday parties, my guests would be downstairs enjoying the puppet show/magician/egg sandwiches cut in triangles, while I would sit upstairs in my bedroom, refusing to emerge, shut down and too nervous to join them. Then there was the prolonged period of what would now be called school refusal, which I like to think I imbued with a certain cinematic panache. The highlight of this phase was a Mission Impossible-stylesequence, in which I attempted to escape the school run by climbing out through the window of a moving car. And yes, I did all my own stunts. Around that time I was offeredprofessional help. A child psychologist came to our house and asked my mum what was my most precious possession. My collection of Star Wars comics, came the answer. At which point, presumably in an effort to cure me, the mental health worker studiously began ripping them up – comic after comic– in front of my shocked eyes. It was the 70s, what can I tell you? I escaped into books and TV and more Star Wars. I was there a long time. In some ways, I still am.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m writing the books I needed when I was a boy. Maybe there’s someone else out there who needs them now.

The books themselves came a long time after. One day a line popped into my head, fully formed. My brother is a superhero and I could’ve been one too, except that I needed to go for a wee. In terms of revelatory power, it’s not up there with I think, therefore I am, but nevertheless from that point on theline exerted a strange and positive influence over my life.

It became the title and first line of a novel. So many books for children are about the Chosen One: a special boy or girl picked out to save the world. However, I was drawn to write about someone who is not chosen. Someone who is overlooked. Time offers perspective and what came out of my head was a comic story about a suburban superhero and his powerless brother. And now, five books later, I have come to the end with My Cousin is a Time Traveller. It’s the final outing for Luke, Serge, Lara, Cara, Star Lad and cousin DIna. But they’re ready, willing and marginally able to save the world, one last time.

A title like that provokes an obvious question, so along with publication I’m asked where would I go if I could travel in time? For me it’s never the past. Always to the future. I’m looking forward to the next adventure and another fresh start. It’s no accident that the final word of the series is ‘beginning’.

Thank you David for sharing what must have been an incredibly traumatic childhood experience but also how it may have helped spur you on to write the stories that you have.

Library Girl.

Thank you to Nosy Crow and all involved in setting up this blog tour. Make sure you all visit the other stops on the tour as well.

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