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Manuscript received
Publication date: TBC
124% funded
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A Young Adult comic fantasy novel, about a teenage boy who is granted an infinite number of wishes -

Adam Gowers has problems. He is desperately in love with a girl who doesn’t fancy him in the slightest; he’s gone and got himself booked in for a fight with the hardest kid in the school; he’s worried about failing all his GCSEs; his parents can barely stand the sight of each other. And then one day he is granted an infinite number of wishes by a genie who conveniently pops out of a lamp. Infinite! An infinite number of wishes! Effectively he has become a god. Except that he doesn’t really have the skill-set to go with the god-like powers…

The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers is as funny as The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole; as full of ideas as The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy; and as sweet and easy to read as Nick Hornby’s Slam.

These days, all YA novels are ‘edgy’. Either they’re bleak slabs of social realism or dystopian visions of the future. The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers is that rare thing: a teenage novel that makes you laugh rather than wince.

Brandon Robshaw is the author of 21 children’s novels and over 60 educational books. His most recent children’s novel, The Big Wish, was published by Chicken House in 2015. It was shortlisted for the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award 2016

Brandon is also a freelance journalist and used to be a regular book reviewer for the Independent on Sunday. He lectures in Creative Writing, Children’s Literature, and Philosophy for the Open University, and Writing for Children for Westminster University; he has a degree in English Literature and an MA in Philosophy, and is currently studying for a PhD in Philosophy with the Open University. He enjoys running; plays the ukulele a little bit and the piano an even littler bit. He blogs about the state of the English language from a liberal pedant’s perspective

Brandon may also be familiar as the dad in the BBC television programme Back in Time for Dinner, a 6-part series about the history of food in Britain from the 1950s to the present-day. The first series ran from 17th March to 21 April 2015 on BBC2. The follow-up series, Back in Time for Christmas, went out in December 2015 and 2016. The latest series, Further Back in Time, is broadcast weekly on BBC2 from 24 January 2017.

brandonrobshaw.wordpress.com
@BrandonRobshaw

The lamp seemed to sort of twitch in my hands, like it was alive, or like there was something alive inside it. Then a wisp of smoke curled out of the spout, and then the wisp grew into a great big massive column of black smoke. Then the column kind of formed and solidified into the shape of a great big massive enormous genie.

At this point, you must be thinking, Yeah, right. And I don't blame you. Cause that's what I thought, too. A genie. Yeah, right. I mean, reality check, or what? I've never believed in crap like that. There's kids at my school who'll swallow anything - like they believe in ghosts and horoscopes and UFOs and alien abductions and men in black and the Illuminati and God knows what else, anything as long as it's weird. But I've never been like that. I just believe in stuff you can prove, stuff you can see. But the trouble was, I could see this genie. I didn't wanna believe it, but I couldn't deny it - he was there, hanging in the air in front of me, with his feet a couple of inches off the floor and his turban brushing the ceiling, lit up in the torch beam from my phone. He was wearing baggy trousers of purple silk and those kinda Turkish shoes that curl up at the ends. His moustache curled up at the ends, too. His chest was bare and brown with an impressive set of pecs. Like, he was built. Ripped. You wouldn't wanna get in a fight with him. Steve Renwick wouldn't have stood a chance. No one would. You wouldn't bet on the Incredible Hulk with Iron Man and the Mighty Thor backing him up against this guy.

So, the genie was like, 'I am the genie of the lamp!'

I was like, 'Right.' Then I go, 'You speak very good English.' This was a moronic thing to say, I know, but I was pretty much in a state of severe shock.

'I speak all languages. You have released me from the lamp. What is your wish?'

'Er - wish? Wodjer mean, wish?'

'Your wish is my command.'

'Oh, right.'

Read more...

Paperback Writer

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Dear noble, sweet, generous friends

I have momentous news! You might have noticed that pledges for Adam Gowers have started to tail away. After nine months of funding, we are almost halfway, but at the rate the pledges are now coming in - fewer than one a week, recently - the book would take a very, very long time to fund completely. It has therefore been suggested to me by my editor at Unbound…

45% - nearly halfway

Friday, 11 August 2017

Hello, dear supporters. We've just reached 45%, so I am marking this milestone with another extract. Just a short one: this scene occurs very near the beginning of the book (before Adam has his wishes), when he is walking to school with his best friend Dirk, and realises for the first time that he fancies Natalie Forbes. 

We are so close to the halfway point now! If it's at all possible to persuade…

A fly on the wall

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

We have reached 40%, everybody! Many thanks for playing your part in that. To celebrate I am putting up another extract from the book. This part occurs at a point when Adam has already been rejected once by the love of his life Natalie. Of course he could just use his wishes to make her love him, but he doesn't want to do that; he wants her to love him of her own free will, which is of course the…

A Mountain Ledge

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Hello, noble supporters. We are now on 39%. With just a little effort we can get up to 40% - which to me will feel like reaching a ledge during the climbing of Everest, where one can rest and gasp for air for a while, and contemplate the rest of the ascent. Could you all see if you can persuade a friend to make a small pledge, so I can get up on to that ledge? 

This reminds me of a piece of doggerel…

Dragons' Den

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hello, noble supporters. This is to let you know that I will be giving a short talk and reading (very short - 5 mins) at Waterstone's in Gower Street, London on Monday evening (26th) at 6.30; and you are all most welcome! Tickets are £6 but you get a glass of wine (and you'd probably pay £6 for a glass of wine anyway in central London) - plus you get a £5 voucher which you can pledge towards an Unbound…

37%

Monday, 5 June 2017

We have now reached 37%, which is great - thanks to all of you for getting it up to this level. This may not be the beginning of the end, but it is certainly the end of the beginning, as Churchill said. If you have any friends who might be interested - particularly those with teenage children - see if you can get them to pledge too. When we hit 40% I will post another extract (a really good one about…

35%

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My dear Supporters - we are now at 35% - which is not bad at all, but we've been parked there for a week. If you know anyone who might be willing to join us and push this on, that would be wonderful! As soon as we get to 40% I am going to post another extract. It's a really good one - the bit where Adam is a fly on the wall...

Best wishes

Brandon

Events in Natalie's bedroom

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Dear Supporters - I'm delighted to report that we have reached 30% of our target, so thanks very much to all of you. To celebrate this milestone I'm putting up another extract from the book, as promised. The previous extract, you may recall, was about how Adam wished that Natalie Forbes would fall in love with him; and she did; and they played tennis in the park and then she asked him back to her…

When Barbie Met Action Man

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dear supporters - well, it looks as though we have been evicted from our Shed. Or rather the Shed has been dismantled around us and we are left standing about in the open. (For new supporters, I should explain that until a couple of weeks ago we had a virtual meeting place called the Shed; since then Unbound have redesigned the website and the Shed has gone.)

Never mind! I can still send updates…

Tennis in the park

Monday, 6 March 2017

I am delighted to announce that we have now reached 20%! Thanks to all 79 of you for your generous contributions. As promised, I'm posting another extract from the book. This scene occurs shortly after Adam has got his wishes - he has wished that Natalie Forbes would be madly in love with him, and now he's on his way to meet her for a game of tennis in the local park. (He's also wished for a brand…

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Episode 6 quiz

Monday, 27 February 2017

And so, dear Shed-Dwellers, to our final Further Back in Time for Dinner question. In the 21st century, what flavour chocolate does Fred find unacceptable? As usual the first correct answerer gets to rule the Shed for the next week. Our current rulers are King Nicholas and Queen Annie; anyone think they can take the crown from them? 

By the way we are now up to 18% of our target. When we reach…

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1940s quiz

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hi, Shed-dwellers! Here is the question for tonight's episode of Further Back in Time for Dinner: what kind of pie do we eat in the Anderson shelter? As usual the first correct answerer gets to be monarch of the Shed for the next week. 

Brandon Robshaw commented on this blog post.

1930s question

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Here's the quiz question for the 1930s episode of Further Back in Time for Dinner: what do I say is the only thing our picnic needs? As usual the winner is entitled to call themselves King or Queen of the Shed for a week. By the way we must thank Queen Marnie for her peaceful, stable and prosperous reign! 

Brandon Robshaw commented on this blog post.
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Further Back in Time for Dinner Quiz Question

Monday, 6 February 2017

Tomorrow is Episode 3 of FBITFD - the 1920s. Here is the quiz question for tomorrow's episode: what cocktails do Giles and I drink? 

Whoever gets this right will be King or Queen of the Shed for the next week. That honour went last week to Annie Tomkins, and I would like to thank her for her wise and beneficent rule. NB: only Shed-dwellers may answer this question!

There are now 52 of us here…

Welcome

Sunday, 5 February 2017

I must welcome Duncan to the Shed - who was the cameraman on Back in Time for Dinner, Back in Time for Christmas and Further Back in Time for Dinner. If you haven't pledged already, come into the Shed and join him!  

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'And when I ring the bell...'

Monday, 30 January 2017

Tomorrow episode 2 of Further Back in Time for Dinner goes out on BBC2 at 8 pm, taking in the years 1910-1919. Here's this week's quiz question: Complete this utterance by me: 'And when I ring the bell...'

First correct answerer will be entitled to call themselves King or Queen of the Shed for the coming week. 

By the way there are now 45 of us Sheddies and the total stands at 11%. Tell your…

Brandon Robshaw commented on this blog post.

Another little bit

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Greetings, shed-dwellers - there are now 40 of us in here and we've now reached 10% of the total, and I'd like to thank you all for getting us this far. I said that when we reached 10% I'd provide another extract from the book, and so here it is. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if animals could talk? Of course; we all have. This extract occurs shortly after Adam has acquired his infinite…

Brandon Robshaw commented on this blog post.
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Further Back in Time for Dinner

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Greetings, shed-dwellers! There are now 35 of you - welcome to recent arrivals Pierre, Dan and Isabel. If you could nudge all your friends to pledge then we can get them in here too. Tell them how great it is in the shed. 

You may be interested to know that next week Further Back in Time for Dinner begins. Tune into BBC2 at 9pm on Tuesday (24th) for the first episode (of 6) and you will see me…

Two major milestones

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Two major milestones were reached today: we've now raised over a thousand pounds, and we've now got 8% of the total required. When we get to 10%, as I promised earlier, I'll post another short excerpt from The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers here in the Shed. 

And when we finally reach the total we will have a fantastic party, to which you will all be invited. A real one, not a virtual one. 

Sweets to eat

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Yay! Another contribution has come in - thanks to Alison there - and as I promised, here is a poem about sweets. It has absolutely nothing to do with The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers; it's just a bit of doggerel I wrote for fun, but I thought it would entertain us as we wait for more people to join us in the Shed.

SWEETS TO EAT

There was Herbert with his sherbet,

there was Molly with her…

Latest news

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

I just thought I should explain that the reason my name appears as one of my own supporters is that my old friend from the OU, Margaret Lucille Kekewich, supported the project in the old-fashioned way by sending me a cheque; so I paid it into my account and then transferred the amount, and the system credited me as the pledger. But really Lucille is here, with us, in the Shed. 

By the way, the…

The shed population increases

Sunday, 15 January 2017

There are now 27 supporters in the shed. It's great in the shed. If you're not inside already, come in and join us! We've now raised over 6% of the total. 

One of the perks of being in the shed - in addition to being a part of this warm and cuddly community - is that you get to ask me questions about the book, the project or anything else. So far nobody has, though. So if anybody does have any…

Looking good

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Things are looking good - there are now 18 of you wonderful pledgers and we've raised over 4% of the total. When we get to 10% I'm going to put up another extract, which only us shed-dwellers will get to see!

Thanks for your support.

Brandon

Update

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Overnight three more people have pledged - thanks very much! One more small pledge will take us up to 2%. 

Welcome

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers launched today - and already 6 people have pledged support. I  will not embarrass you by naming you here, but you know who you are and I know who you are - thanks! 1% of the target has already been achieved. 

I'm really looking forward to watching this project build. This book has been a long time in the making and I can't tell you how much it will mean to me…

Stephen Murgatroyd
Stephen Murgatroyd asked:

Brendon

Just a note to say how much my wife Lynne and I are enjoying Back in Time...you guys are pretty courageous doing this, but I suspect all of you are growing through this process.

As one author to another - just published my 43rd non fiction book (I have the addiction too) - I am supporting you in this project, despite the George Formby.

Take care

Stephen Murgatroyd
Murgatroydstephen@gmail.com

Brandon Robshaw
Brandon Robshaw replied:

Hi Stephen - great to hear from you. Thanks so much for your support. And I'll really glad you enjoy the show. Yes, it has been a great learning experience for us all. Good luck with your writing career! Best wishes Brandon

Janet Kirkwood
Janet Kirkwood asked:

Hi Brandon, having pledged for the hard is it an actual as it's a bit confusing because it says hardback email book. Loved the last series of back in time for dinner. Don't know what I am going to watch tonight now. Good luck with the fund raising.

Brandon Robshaw
Brandon Robshaw replied:

Hi Janet. Thanks very much for your pledge! Yes, it will be a hardback book. You get the e-book as well, though.

So glad you enjoyed Further Back in Time!

Best wishes
Brandon

John O'Brien
John O'Brien asked:

Hey Brandon, just pledged to fund naming a character as a birthday gift for my partner Claire. The book sounds great, she will love it.

I had also messaged you on LinkedIn, is there any way I could get a birthday video message for her from you? She would be thrilled. My email address is jpmob1970@gmail.com if it's possible to arrange, I realise how busy you are.

Many thanks and good luck with the crowdfunding.

John O'Brien
(jpmob1970@gmail.com)

Brandon Robshaw
Brandon Robshaw replied:

Hi John - thanks very much indeed for your pledges - phenomenally generous - I am bowled over! I'll send you a direct email about the birthday video.

Best wishes
Brandon

Hayley Bell
Hayley Bell asked:

I have two questions. Can I ask why you need to have this published as a 'book'? Lots of authors are happy with an Amazon arrangement. Would that not work for you? And the next question is whether an advance was not available/offered. And if not, did your agent suggest crowdfunding? Thanks. I now realize that was three questions.

Brandon Robshaw
Brandon Robshaw replied:

These are interesting questions, Hayley. Let's see what I can do with them. First, it has been my ambition to get this published as a book, ever since I first wrote it (which was quite a few years ago now); and my agent did try very hard to get it published via the conventional route. And we had lots of near misses. You can hear the story of the book's progress on this Youtube video which I made last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnzZW4nCSyg

Even after over 16 years trying to get it published I never lost faith with the book and I really believed it deserved an audience. I might well have gone down the Amazon route eventually, but then I happened to hear about Unbound, so I submitted it there and to my delight it was accepted. There seem to me to be several advantages to this over Amazon. First, a certain amount of respectability is conferred on it by virtue of its having been taken on by a publisher (albeit an unconventional one). Second, Unbound are able to package, market it and distribute it for me whereas with Amazon I would be working alone. Third, the process of crowdfunding the book means that by the time it comes out it will have 400 or so committed supporters who can spread the word and tell all their friends about it; Amazon books do not start with a ready-made fan-base. This route was not suggested by my agent, by the way; in fact she has declined to be involved with it, because she said it would mean a lot of work for uncertain returns. But I don't mind putting the work in, because it is my baby!

Myra Sefton
Myra Sefton asked:

Dear Brandon, I was thinking about pledging to name a character. But it is to be a gift for my 13yr old nephew. Is it possible that the named character not do anything too inappropriate for a young teen?

Good luck with the project. It's reading great so far.

Brandon Robshaw
Brandon Robshaw replied:

Hi Myra - thanks very much for your interest in the book. Yes, I think we can certainly find a character who doesn't do anything too inappropriate! Best wishes. Brandon

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