Hey cHEwY gum gums!

It’s fitting that my 10th cHEwY creation lands on the first day of Spring. I hope that this book is a burst of funshine in people’s lives. I’m so excited to finally bring out a short story collection, after writing so many of them in other anthologies such as Total Quack Up and more recently, in Funny Bones last year.

It’s my first ever short story collection

I’ve always been a fan of short stories. I grew up reading Paul Jennings’s books such as Uncanny or Quirky Tales, which were full of sensational short stories. Then when I started writing Thai-riffic!, I wrote them in episodic short stories that were stand-alone, similar to the successful Andy Griffiths/Terry Denton Just stories.

Short stories are perfect for reluctant readers because they break up reading in sizeable chunks. Short stories also get straight to the point, whether it’s a punchline, dramatic ending or twist, you know it’s coming in a few pages.

I get to write across different genres

I’ve always wanted to write a short-story collection because it gave me a chance to stray from my usual contemporary settings to explore new genres such as supernatural, sci-fi and fantasy. I was able to be a whimsical narrator in the same vein as David Walliams or A.F Harrold.

Take for example the first story, The Boy With 1000 Names. I loved this concept of what would happen if parents were able to change their child’s names until they found the right one. What if they never found the perfect name? There is a touch of satire as Joel’s parents learn the art of naming things.

Some beloved characters return

I’ve spoken about how I was able to include 2 stories based on the pandemic in last week’s blog post. But there’s another story called Sweet And Sour starring Jennie from Thai-riffic!

It’s a parallel side story that takes place during ‘Curried Away’ in Thai-riffic! as she faces her own family dilemma of bringing in an authentic dish to her school’s Harmony Day celebration. Remember how Jennie mentions that her Sweet and Sour Pork is not the typical pink sweet and sour pork you get from restaurants? That one line became this story hehe.

My first ever animal story is in here

Yes, that’s right. I got to write about a dog! The first dog who goes to Mars in fact. It was so cool to be able to get into other character’s heads, especially animals and made-up things like an unicorncob 🙂

There’s a sneak peek into my next book

The final story, Melted Chocolates is set in the world of my next book, working title, What About Thao? It’s a nice little prologue to what I have planned for Thao, Isaac and Kadir as I explore life in a quaint country town called Megulla in the middle of nowhere. That will come out next year, hopefully hehe.

So there you have it cHEwY gum gums, it’s a crazy time to release a new book but I do hope it finds your way from a library or bookstore shelf and into your sanitised hands 🙂

If you’ve read it, let me know what you think!

O.W

About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree