A morning with Phil Earle

As a child Phil Earle didn’t love reading as much as he does now. He didn‘t read much apart from superhero comics: he loved superheroes. He really wanted to be a professional footballer when he was older, but he stopped having that particular dream at the age of fourteen.

His first job was working with children, and he really enjoyed that, so he wrote books for them. He got his second job in his twenties, at a bookshop. He worked in the Children’s section, organising the books and tidying the shelves. Then, one day, a woman gave him a book to put away: Holes by Louis Sachar. He read it, fascinated – and he loved it! That’s when he really began to read, all the time. He read lots of books, possibly aimed for younger children: he had missed out on so much amazing reading time, he made up for it then.

Phil has a son called Alfie who, like him, adores football. Alfie goes out to the garden every day to practise his football. Usually he accidentally kicks the football over the fence, but they have an extremely kind neighbour who always chucks it back. Alfie has about thirteen footballs! Phil Earle really thought about this – what if their neighbour were not so nice? He decided to look into this, and ended up writing Albert and the Garden of Doom. It was based on this ordinary event.

Phil’s favourite book is Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. He has read it many times, and this is where he got the idea for Demolition Dad, his brand-new book. He wanted to make it about a father and son, who loved each other. Jake and his Dad (a demolition worker) are very close: but Dad has a secret identity at the weekends! Phil really enjoyed writing this, as it was very funny. Another inspiration for this book was wrestling: when younger, he watched it a lot on television.

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At the age of 25 Phil began to write his first book.

He uses an illustrator, whose style he really likes. In many of his books pictures pop up on different pages.

When Phil used to go to work every weekday, he would type five hundred words on the ‘bus there and five hundred more on the way home. So he did five thousand words every week! He would like to keep writing, and publish at least another three books.  In most typical weeks he will sell books for three days, give a talk for one day and then write for the remaining three days.

Of all the characters he‘s created, fifteen year-old Daisy from Saving Daisy is most like him. He didn‘t know it at the time, but he reckons so now. He likes to write books that have hopeful endings.

Thank you Mr Earle, for coming to BGS!

Amelia, Year 5

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