Mission? What mission?
My mission at the moment is to write the next book in my anti-bullying series, Gummshoes.
After the holiday break, it is always a little difficult to get back into my normal routine of writing every day. Whether what I write is terrific or complete rubbish, I write every day.
I am a writer and that is what I do. It’s what I want to do. It’s what I have to do. On the days when I can’t be at my computer, I feel somewhat uncomfortable, almost guilty, because I haven’t accomplished anything. My mind then goes into overdrive and I don’t sleep well. Writing is part of me.
The Gummshoes series was inspired by a television programme I saw one day when I had the ‘flu. There I was, reclining miserably on the couch, when two young men were being interviewed. You can watch it here.
These two young guys had experienced bullying themselves and decided that they would stand up for younger kids who were being targeted. In one simple act of inviting those younger kids to sit with them at lunch, they began a movement which has now spread across the USA and into other countries as well.
In the past year or so, a young lady called Natalie Hampton has also taken a stand against school bullying. She started Sit with Us. This is an app that allows kids to find students at their school who are happy to sit with them at lunch times so that they are not isolated.
Inspired by these wonderful young people, I wrote the first Gummshoes mystery.
Gummshoes is a secret group created by Frankie Gumm (Get it? Frankie Gumm – Gummshoes?) and his best friend Oliver Mollison. The two boys have been bullied for most of their school lives. Now that they are in sixth grade, they have developed some strategies for coping with the bullies. when they notice a younger student, Alex (Binka) Binkowski going through the same problems that they had to deal with, the boys decide to take care of him. As they investigate interesting goings-on at their school, they teach Binka how to be resilient and feel more confident.
In Mission # 1 – The Nobbled Numbskull the boys have to figure who is sabotaging the school’s star soccer player. How will Carson Road win the pennant if Jon Nittleson can’t play?
In the story I am writing now, Frankie and Olly are confused when the school’s biggest bully, Nits, decides to hang out with them. This is a scary, yet intriguing situation for them. With the whole school collecting cards and tokens for a new game, Binka notices that something weird is happening with a display of medals in the Principal’s office.
This something for the Gummshoes to investigate, but will they involve Nits in the sleuthing or not? The boys are quite enjoying the thrill (and power) of being befriended by him.
Will Nits become a Gummshoe, or will Frankie and Olly become bullies?
Stay tuned for the answers.