Hello, blog reader person. Wanted to bring something to your attention. It is Hot Shots FC, a new series from Anne-Marie Layet. Why? Because it is funny, and I like funny.
Hot Shots FC follows four very special boys: Hat Trick Boy who, when he was born, was given a football to cling to rather than a teddy bear. Sid, who wears armor to preschool, “in case the teachers attack me.” Uno, who’s so smart he makes maps of everything. And lastly Cowpat, who employs his armpits, feet, and his bottom to communicate. These friends live their lives seeking fun and football. Until they cross paths with mean kid Jon Jamerson and mean adult Big Al, who will do anything for a win. Our four friends form Hot Shots FC and go up against the meanies and their team, Hammers FC.
A great, funny story about friendship and about football.
Anne-Marie was nice enough to answer some questions.
Me: How did this series come about? What was the inspiration?
AML: I was prompted to write this series after driving my children to soccer every week for 2 years. It was the highlight of the week. They got dressed up in their kit, piled in the car with their friends, played some soccer, scored some goals, and messed around as much as possible. Even I enjoyed it.
Me: How do you come up with funny characters?
AML: I think of all the things we try to stop children from doing, and celebrate them instead.
Me: Did you plan a series, or did you write one story and find the characters wouldn't let you go?
AML: I didn't plan a series, I just wrote Hot Shots FC. But there were two characters who would not leave me alone. The first was Sid: he was just so dynamic and clever that he wrote Hot Shots FC, not me. The second was Cowpat. He couldn't stay still, even if you paid him. I had to write another book just to give him a run around.
Me: What is your writing process? Do you set certain hours of the day, or just write when you’re moved to do so? How many hours do you generally write?
AML: For ten years I wrote every day, as soon as I could, for as long as I could (1-3 hours). Unfortunately this is no longer possible. Life has taken over. Shame.
Me: Would you ever consider going to the traditional publishers rather than self publishing?
AML: Only if they asked very nicely, and then I'd tell them to send in a submission, which I might read, or I might throw away, or I might lose down the back of my drawer, or I might give to my children to draw on.
Me: Who are your favorite authors?
AML: Steven Butler has impressed me for being creative, and telling a cracking good story. Recently I've enjoyed Dan Freeman, for football detective stories, and I cannot fail to mention Andy Stanton, whose wacky imagination knows no bounds.
Me: If somehow you were forced to stop writing, what would you do instead?
AML: I have been forced to stop! Forced to stop writing so I could make some pictures to go with my books. But drawing, and composing images, I have discovered, is fun too!
Me: Anything else you want to tell us?
AML: I'd like to tell you I've just sold a million copies of Hot Shots FC!
But that would be a lie.
But that would be a lie.