My Totally Awesome Story
From the award-winning children's author and illustrator duo, Pat Flynn and Peter Carnavas, comes My Totally Awesome Story, a cheeky, laugh-out-loud novel about a schoolboy named Duane. It's certain to become a favourite with 9+ year-olds everywhere.
Duane Glade is a 13-year-old motorbike-riding, footy-playing, legend-in-his-own-mind rebel who suffers his way through classroom writing activities for his teacher Miss Wright by responding with wickedly funny stories and cartoons. Duane hilariously details his run-ins with the deputy principal, his misadventures with his best mate Meatball, his crush on hot girl Jackie, as well as his dreams to jump over 100 cars on his motorbike. His assigned writing partner is the teacher's pet, Grace Lisbeth Jones (Nerdgirl), and when they have to write together, words fly. While Duane's responses are unexpected and mischievous… they also ring true.
The grade I would give my story is A+++ because my story has never been written before in the history of the world. It's special and deserves a special grade but I bet you won't give me an A+++ even though you should. I dare you Miss Wright and you know my story is heaps better than the one Grace wrote. She doesn't even know how to spell fairy she spelt it faerie and she spelt magic like magik and even I know that's wrong. So if she gets a better grade than me I'll be angry as a wild bull that's called a similarly because I do pay attention sometimes Miss Wright even though you don't think I do. So give me an A+++ go on, I dare you.
The inspiration behind My Totally Awesome Story came from the many of writing workshops Pat has conducted for young people across Australia, many of whom have been -Duanes' and -Graces'. 'Young people often write with a lack of self-consciousness that is both endearing and highly amusing." Pay says 'I wanted to capture that natural humour in the novel".
A chance meeting led to Pat approaching well-known illustrator and author Peter Carnavas with the concept. 'It struck me as very original," Peter says. 'The project appealed to me immediately, as I laughed my way through the first draft." He began scribbling some early ideas, keeping in mind the pictures needed to capture the humour, a touch of naiveté and also look like Duane had drawn them. The perfect solution was for Peter to draw with his left hand, enabling him to combine an illustrator's eye with the wobbly and wonky hand of a child.
Like a naughtier version of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, My Totally Awesome Story with self-confessed legend Duane will have kids laughing to the very last page.
However, his teacher, Miss Wright is less than impressed. 'Duane's work may be amusing but it is filled with careless mistakes. He needs to spend a month of lunchtime detention editing his work because he is allowed to call it, My Totally Awesome Story."
Pat Flynn grew up running around an old dairy farm in Queensland before moving to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra on a tennis scholarship. After playing and coaching on the professional circuit he became a teacher, where his observations of young people – their interests and stories – led to him writing a series about a teenage skateboarder called Alex Jackson.
Pat now writes full time and lives on the Sunshine Coast. To the Light was shortlisted for the 2006 CBCA Book Awards, and The Tuckshop Kid received and Honour Book prize in the 2007 Awards.
Pat likes to start the day with a surf and end it swimming in the Currimundi Lake with his wife and two kids. He also enjoys the occasional game of tennis.
Peter Carnavas grew up in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He later became a primary school teacher and taught at Clermont State School. It was during his time as a teacher that Peter began to immerse himself in picture books and take his storytelling a little more seriously.
Peter's first book, Jessica's Box, was published in 2008. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Queensland Premier's Literary Award and the 2009 CBCA Crichton Award for Emerging Illustrators. He has since written and illustrated many picture books, which have been translated into languages such as German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch.
Peter lives on the Sunshine Coast with his wife, two daughters and a scruffy dog that occasionally escapes.
My Totally Awesome Story
Author: Pat Flynn (and Duane)
Illustrator: Peter Carnavas