An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote
Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight
Why did you write Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight?
I love Roald Dahl and was reading The Magic Finger. After finishing it, thoughts began to bounce around my head. I wanted to write a fun story about a child who had some type of power. Out of that initial thought, combined with an idea that came to me when I was using Twitter, the seed was planted.
I have always loved ancient Egypt, the pharaohs and mummies etc. so I thought it would be awesome to have this included. I wanted magic in the story and the things that go wrong in the story to be funny to kids. As I was writing the story, my son peeked over my shoulder, and read some of what I’d written. In shock he said, ‘Mum I didn’t know you’d write that!’ I had to chuckle. His mum is full of surprises.
All of my books have some type of bully or evil character, so Daniel Barker does as well. When I was thinking about the antagonist – the meanie, the thought of having multiple antagonists came to mind. This gave me the idea for the theme of peer pressure. I know from my own experience as a teacher, and from my youth work studies, that peer pressure is a major issue for children in high school.
I also hoped that boys who don’t like reading, might pick up the book and read it.
What is the story about?
The story is about Daniel Barker who receives a magical book on his tenth birthday. The book gives him 99 wishes which must be used for the good of the world. He writes a wish by writing a hashtag and then what he wants. All goes well in primary school and Dan the Man is a superhero. He then goes on to high school. All is great to begin with, but then things change. Kids start bullying and taunting Daniel about his powers. They want him to do pranks which are against the power’s rules. Daniel gives in, unleashing the Mummy’s Blight. Daniel must then try and stop the chaos that ensues. I don’t want to tell you the trouble Daniel gets himself into but it is kind of funny and a little bit of a horror story.
What is your favourite part of the story?
I loved researching the recipe for the antidote that would stop someone from becoming a zombie! It was fun to then write that into the story.
What will people get out of the story?
I hope people see that it is okay to be yourself… it’s okay to be different. Daniel is an only child in a single-parent family and at times the issues involved in living in this situation are raised. The story also shows what peer pressure can do and the trouble one can into when one gives into it. I hope children will enjoy the story and be entertained by it.
Is there a Book 2 coming?
Yes, there are actually two more books coming. In Book 2, Daniel and his grandmother fly back to Egypt to try and find the answers to stopping the Mummy’s blight. You will have to wait and see what happens in it.
Where can people buy Daniel Barker from?
Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight is available as a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.