Friday, 10 March 2017

My Father the Mad Professor

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. If you're not familiar with this blog, scroll down to see what it's all about.

My Father the Mad Professor (Post 69)

My Father the Mad Professor (1997), is a reading scheme book written for the educational market, but structured like a trade novel of the period. By this I mean it's a whacky comedy family story with sf leanings, rather than a book addressing a curriculum topic such as conservation, community or sustainable development. Erica Query has always been quite happy living with her mother, but now Mum has a work opportunity that is incompatible with caring for a daughter, so Erica goes to live temporarily with her unknown father, the "mad professor" of the title. Professor Query is athoroughly eccentric inventor, whereas Erica is a conformist. Erica wants to go and stay with her friend Sarah Huppington-Fairfax, but ends up with her dad instead. Through the book Erica tries to get her father to conform while he tries to expand her horizons. They drive one another nuts, but eventually come to a workable relationship.

One of the most interesting things about writing these blog posts is noticing themes that repeat through my books. I hadn't noticed before but this one has elements of Taking a Chance (Post 36) in that the main character has to spend an extended stay with a previously unknown parent whose ways and personality are difficult. Thomas Rimmer's mother is a fairy, whereas Erica Query's father is simply eccentric and egotistical, but they both create difficulties for their children while ultimately enriching their lives.

The reason I chose this one to write about today is that it was called to mind by an academic wanting to quote it in a book. I've spent some time trying to discover who holds the publication rights over it these days, since the initial publisher has been taken over or sold at least twice in the intervening years.

About the Blog 
Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 

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