MY WRITING

I always knew deep down that what I really wanted was to be a writer -  right from when I was young.  When I was 16, I wrote a story and sent it to a magazine.  When they rejected my story I was so upset that I didn’t write again for years.  I always tell people now ‘never be hurt by being rejected.  Just keep on trying and most of all don’t give up’.  Many years later I decided to write again - the sort of stories which I thought would make reading fun for children.  This time I decided not to give up and Penguin Books liked my stories and published Unreal! in 1985. 
 
The question that every writer is asked the most is 'where do you get your ideas from' and I think the best answer to this is 'everywhere'.  Everything that happens to you and the people around you can give you an idea for a story.  That's not to say it's easy.  Thinking up ideas can be very hard work and for me it's the hardest part of writing a story.  It takes about a year to write my collections of short stories and the part that takes the longest is actually thinking up the ideas.  It's great when I eventually think of a plot that I know is good. 
 
I have to write down any new ideas straight away, because if I don't I might forget it.  I keep an 'ideas book' and I always write my story plans in it.  I only type it up when I know exactly how the story ends and what I want to write. Not all writers work in this way - some just start writing and see where it leads them.  It's a good job that we're not all the same. That would be boring.
 
When I finish a story I send it to my editor. I read it through several times first to make sure there are no mistakes (I don't like doing that very much).  It's a nice feeling when she rings and tells me she likes the story (she mostly does).
 
After that it has to be edited and then there may be more work for me to do - parts of the story might need changing to make it sound better, or I might change the names in the story.  All those sorts of things.  This part of the process is very important. It's the part I like the least of all, because once I've finished a story I hate to keep going back through it all again. I just want to move on to the next story.
 
While all these things are going on, someone like Bob Lea, Keith McEwan, Peter Gouldthorpe or Craig Smith have been working on the illustrations. I really look forward to seeing their first sketches for the covers.   
Then there's the title!  How did I choose my book titles? Well, unreal is a word my children often used, so that's how my first book got its name. Then I realised how many 'UN' words there are and thought it would be fun to use them for all my collections of short stories (apart from Quirky Tails and Tongue Tied).
 
When it's all finished there is one more thing - the dedication. I usually dedicate my books to members of my family and very special friends. 
 
 And then, there's the best bit of all - picking up the very first copy of the book.  When I get that first copy I just can't put it down for ages. It's a very special sort of feeling. 
 
 
Following is a list of books I have published:
    

1985        Unreal!

1986        Unbelievable!

1987        Quirky Tales!

1988        Uncanny!

1989        The Cabbage Patch Fib (Illustrated by Craig Smith)

1990        The Paw Thing (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

1990        Round the Twist

                Unbearable!

1991        Unmentionable!

                The Naked Ghost, Burp & Blue Jam

                Teacher Eater (Illustrated by Jeanette Rowe)

1992        Grandad’s Gifts (Illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe)

                Spooner or Later (With Ted Greenwood & Terry Denton)

1993        Undone!

1994        Round the Twist Graphic Novel (Illustrated by Glen Lumsden & David De Vries)

1994        The Gizmo (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

                The Fisherman and the Theefyspray (Illustrated by Jane Tanner)

                Duck For Cover (with Ted Greenwood & Terry Denton)

1995        The Gizmo Again (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

                Uncovered!

                The Paul Jennings Superdiary 1996

1996        Come Back Gizmo (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

                The Cabbage Patch War (Illustrated by Craig Smith

                Freeze A Crowd (with Ted Greenwood & Terry Denton)

                Stagefright   

                The Paul Jennings Superdiary 1997

1997        Wicked! (with Morris Gleitzman)

                Sink the Gizmo (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

1998        Singenpoo Strikes Again (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

                Unseen!

1999        Singenpoo Shoots Through (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

2000        Deadly! (with Morris Gleitzman)

                Sucked In (Illustrated by Terry Denton)

2001        Singenpoo’s Secret Weapon (Illustrated by Keith McEwan)

2002        Tongue Tied!

                The Cabbage Patch Pong (Illustrated by Craig Smith)

                The Paul Jennings Superdiary 2002

2003        Spit it Out (with Terry Denton)

2004        The Reading Bug

                Rascal the Dragon, Book 1 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal in Trouble, Book 2 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal’s Trick, Book 3 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal Takes Off, Book 4 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                The Cabbage Patch Curse (Illustrated by Craig Smith)

2005        How Hedley Hopkins Did a Dare…     

                Rascal at the Show, Book 5 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal and the Cheese, Book 6 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal and Little Flora, Book 7 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal and the Hot Air Balloon, Book 8 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

2006        Rascal and the Monster, Book 9 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal goes Fishing, Book 10, (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal and the Dragon Droppings, Book 11 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Little Rascal to the Rescue, Book 12 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

2009        The Nest

                Rascal Plays Up, Book 13 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

2010        Rascal Runs Away, Book 14 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal’s Shadow, Book 15 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)
                Rascal and the Bad Smell, Book 16 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

2011        Rascal Bumps his Head, Book 17 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

                Rascal’s Big Day, Book 18 (Illustrated by Bob Lea)

 

These titles are bind-ups of stories also published in previous books above:

1998        Uncollected, Volume 1

2000        Uncollected, Volume 2

                Uncollected, Volume 3

2002        The Fantastic & Amazing Gizmo

                The Many Adventures of Singenpoo

2005        Paul Jennings’ Funniest Stories

2006        Paul Jennings’ Weirdest Stories

2007        Paul Jennings’ Spookiest Stories

2007        The Cabbage Patch Fibs

2008        Paul Jennings’ Trickiest Stories

 

My books have also been translated and published into eighteen foreign languages from around the world.