Guest Author Ian Probert

Today our guest is Ian Probert author of yesterday’s book “Johnny Nothing”, here is a link to the book if you missed the review.

Ian Probert

Let’s find out more about Ian and his work.

1) Where is your home town?
Burnley in Lancashire. A place where they still point at aeroplanes.
2) How long have you been writing?
When I was a kid I used to bore my English teacher to death by filling up exercise books with stories about vampires. She’s dead now. Professionally I had my first article published in 1987. It was about boxing.
3) Is Johnny Nothing your first humorous children’s book?
It is. Although I’ve written funny stuff before but never thought about publishing it. Well I think it’s funny but humour is so subjective.
4) Have you ever had children read your book like beta readers?
I’m horrible. When my daughter has her friends around for playdates I get them to read Johnny Nothing aloud. It makes them laugh, though, which is amazing to watch. If they refuse to do it I shave all their hair off and tell their parents that they did it.
5) When the family went off around the world on holiday you had fun with some of their feelings about the destinations, can you give the readers some examples of these?
• They went to Amsterdam but found the Dutch tulippy.
• They took a slow boat to China but they were bored to death by the time they got there.
• They went to Coventry but the locals wouldn’t talk to them.
• They flew to Warsaw but found it an eyesore.
• They found Cuba dull (although everyone else seemed to be Havana good time).
• They went to Egypt but the pyramids were like a prism.
• They went to Sao Paulo but thought the Brazilians were nuts.
• They sailed to Costa Rica but it Costa fortune.
• They got hungry in Hungary.
• So they had turkey in Turkey.
• And then chicken in Kiev.
• And crackers in Caracas.
• And visited a Deli in Delhi.
• They got thirsty in Chertsey.
• So they had high tea in Haiti.
• Then drank iced tea in the Black Sea.
• They went for a wander in Rwanda.
• Something went wrong in Hong Kong.
• They weren’t bowled over by Moldova.
• They found Chile too cold.
• They bought perfume in Cologne.
• Mr. MacKenzie had a very painful accident in Bangkok.
6) Can you tell the readers how Johnny stopped his parents from spending any more of his money?
It worries me actually because what Johnny does is hire some bodyguards to kidnap his horrible parents. Then he locks them in their bedroom for months and forces them to do homework. This worries me because it’s the the story I’ve written in which the main character does something really nasty to his parents. Any psychiatrists out there?
7) When Johnny tries to think of ways to raise the money needed to make up £1 million what were the best ideas put forward?
Frankly all the ideas were rubbish but probably the best one was to buy £500,000 worth if lottery tickets. Or course, you have zero chance of winning but this was still the best suggestion that any of the really stupid characters came up with. Personally, I’d kidnap a politician and tickle him until he gave me the code to his debit card.
8) Do you think you try to give readers a message about spending wisely and donating to charity?
I think I probably do. Underneath all the jokes and the vulgarity there is an underlying message, which is: ‘Give Ian Probert all your money!’ Only joking kids. What I’m really trying to say is: ‘Many a mickle makes a muckle…’
9) Tell us about your book called “Internet Spy” and it being made into a film.
I wrote it in 1995 and it became a hit in the US, I think, because it had the word ‘internet’ in the title. Nobody had heard of the internet then and they thought it was a magic creepy thing that would rot your fingers. They were right. A few years ago I was approached by Brad Pitt about making it into a movie. That’s Bradley Pitt, the lesser-known South African plumber. He and his wife Angela Jolly did quite a good job actually. I was paid about 5p, which I thought was a fair price.
10) What are you working on next?
I like dead heroes so my next book is going to be called ‘Dan’s Dead’. I’ve already written the first sentence. It says: ‘Dan was dead.’ It may be the first and last sentence. I’m not sure yet. It’s another book for kids that will hopefully be so funny that they will wee their pants every Thursday.
Johnny Nothing
Find a copy here from or
Oh Ian you do make me laugh!  Good Luck with the next book.