When you accidentally meet the main character from your novel

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So my debut junior novel is out.

It’s all pretty damn exciting. It’s also good to know – given how ruthless young reviewers can be – those who’ve read ‘Shot, Boom, Score!’ seem to have really enjoyed it.

So anyway.

I was walking along Ponsonby Road in Auckland on a beautiful Friday morning when I ran into an old mate with his ten-year-old son. Here was a kid dressed in a Manchester United shirt, with accompanying NZ Warriors shorts. He was a cool kid: funny and full of life, with mannerisms that seemed oddly familiar.

Then it clicked.

As we stood there in the sun, my mate apparently told me what he’d been up to over Xmas. I say apparently because I struggled to focus on a word he said, mainly because the main character I’d been working on for the past two years, the guy who had lived inside my head all that time, was standing right in front of me in a Manchester United shirt. If I was a casting director for ‘Shot, Boom, Score’ the movie, I would have chosen this kid right away.

Of course I tried to relay this to my mate (‘then for New Years we just had a quiet one’) but, not surprisingly, he failed to catch my enthusiasm.

It was all hellishly freaky. Even more so – the kid’s name was Toby, the same as my main character. I took all this as a good sign – though given the similarities – wondered if this new novel is fiction at all.

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