Saturday, 24 December 2011

12 Days Without a Book! Countdown to Publication #4: I'll do anything for a Scooby Snack! 15 Days and Scooby-Doo!

15 Days Without a Head will be in bookshops in 12 days time. By way of celebration, I'm publishing a new post here every day, leading up to publication on January 5th. The idea is to provide a few bonus items, such as you'd expect to find on the extras disc of a DVD – except these will be available before the main feature of course! 

‘You stay here and keep a look out Scoob, while I go inside and look for clues,’ I tell him, when we get to the chip shop.
        Jay frowns. ‘I want to come with you. Scooby and Shaggy always stay together.’
        ‘They don’t allow dogs in there Scooby, old pal!’ I’m trying to keep it going, doing the voice and everything; people walking past are staring.
        ‘I’ll bring you a bag of Scooby Snacks!’
         Jay’s lip quivers, but eventually he nods. ‘OK, but don’t be too long.’
         My brother has more in common with that dog than he knows. 
(from 15 Days Without a Head)

I was a huge fan of Scooby-Doo as a kid. It was one of the cartoons I’d run home from school to watch. This, of course, was back in the days when there were only four channels, and children's television occupied a narrow late afternoon slot before the early evening news. I have to admit that I always thought the credits looked scarier and more exciting than the actual shows, but there was something about Shaggy and Scooby that appealed. They were funny, easy-going and cowardly, yet never deserted each other in a time of crisis. I suppose it was natural that my dog-obsessed character, six-year-old Jay in 15 Days, should choose to identify with Scooby. It is a testament to Hanna-Barbera head writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, along with artist and designer, Iwao Takamoto – that Scooby-Doo is still on television nearly thirty years later.

Giant Scooby and Mini Mystery Machine on the shelf in my (somewhat dusty) attic!

Fun Fact: Scooby-Doo was originally entitled Mysteries Five and were a mystery solving band of musicians. Scooby’s character – Too Much – played the bongos!

Scooby must also take some of the credit for the fact that 15 Days Without a Head is being published in 12 days time. When Oxford University Press invited my agent and I to their offices to pitch for the book, they not only got a male member of staff to dress up in women’s clothes and serve dinner (all will become clear if you read the book), they also presented us with a box of home-cooked Scooby Snacks each. I have to admit, that pretty much clinched the deal for me! 

Scooby Snacks from OUP. By the time I got home and took the photo the box was half empty!

Don't forget I'm giving away a signed (or unsigned, if you prefer) copy of 15 Days Without a Head. Click here for details.

Tomorrow: it's Christmas!!!


  1. That sounds like such a great pitch, no wonder they got the book!

    That snippet at the top of the post has completely got my attention, I can't wait to read the book and get to know these characters better.

  2. Thanks, Jenni – Yes, OUP made me feel very wanted and they were excellent biscuits!

    I'm glad the snippet made you want to read the rest of the book. I hope you enjoy it.