THE WRITE STUFF Anthony Broderick from Claremorris with a copy of his book, ‘The Adventures of Jack and Adam’. Pic:Frank Dolan
Four year project ready to hit the shelves
FOUR years in the planning and it looks like Claremorris man Anthony Broderick has hit the jackpot. The first book in the series by the 27 year-old primary school teacher has just been published and already the response has been phenomenal.
‘Wanted’ is the debut publication in ‘The Adventures of Jack and Adam’ and the start of a series of stories following the adventures of two young brothers and their pets, Club, a Labrador dog, and Diamond the cat.
This beautifully paced book, full of intricately woven plots and sub plots, is aimed mainly at children in the 8-to-12 age category but it has much more appeal than this. It is a remarkable debut for Anthony who has pioneered one of the largest and most focussed projects undertaken by any writer for many years.
Full of vast potential, ‘The Adventures of Jack and Adam’, coupled with The Larry Right series, looks set to catapult the young Claremorris man into the national limelight. Already there are hints of major international interest in the series as well as possible adaption for television.
Anthony, as in the intricate nature of his plots in Wanted, managed to keep his project secret from even his closest friends. Clearly he had his sights firmly fixed on the broader picture.
“I have been working away on this project for four years now. It has taken a huge amount of time and effort. The teaching profession has given me the time and scope to do something else. I have a good sense of imagination. I feel I am good at English, telling stories and going with the flow,” says Anthony in his first ever interview since announcing the completion of his debut project.
“Looking back on my own school days, I enjoyed reading but the last thing I wanted to do was to read long books. I made a decision from the outset to keep each book within the 15,000 to 20,000 word count.
“While the new series will have appeal to a certain age group, I feel it will be by no means restricted in that way at all. If something is good, it will be enjoyed across the board. Parents enjoy reading books for children going to bed. This series ticks a lot of boxes.”
When settling on names for his leading characters, Anthony used commonsense and a bit of ingenuity.
“It is a good idea to keep the names short so Jack and Adam seemed to fit that bill. They are also quite common and there is a nice ring to the combination.
“People who know me are aware that I enjoy doing card tricks. One day while at the cards, the idea came to me. ‘Could I envisage a dog called Club?’ I could. The same for a cat called Diamond. All four of them have key roles all along the way.
“I have kept the ending in each book enticing so that readers will want to continue to follow the adventures of Jack and Adam. There are dabs of characters that make the occasional appearance in the early books such as The Wanderer and these later reappear further down the line as the series moves on.”
The series is set in fictional Willowstown, a place where, as Anthony explains, “could be located anywhere that people would know each other.”
He decided not to set it within city limits. “A series like this has far more scope where the main characters can go down fields, forests or villages. It also gives me the scope for a whole new departure midway through the series. Everything in this series could happen. This is not far-fetched. There is realism to it from start to finish.”
This has been a mammoth undertaking by Anthony from the outset. “A colossal amount of work has gone into it and a severe amount of time. I set aside a few hours a day to think of ideas. In ways I kind of forced myself to think. I would wake up at night with the phone beside my pillow and record some new ideas and input them the next day.
“In terms of the big vision for the project, I never hit a wall. I had some smaller moments perhaps in devising plots and reshaping them. There were things I got rid of and replaced with better ideas. I am good at thinking on the spot and I am always prepared to put the work in. I’m an ordinary guy and I think this is reflected in the way I write.”
When Anthony had completed a number of books in the series, he felt there was also scope for something else to do alongside it. And so was born The Larry Right series.
“In the first book of Jack and Adam, I reference that their favourite show is The Larry Right Hour. So another series got underway parallel to Jack and Adam.
“Larry Right is a young guy constantly thinking of creating projects and making a go of it. He sees himself in his own mind as creating new ventures and making it big. I think a lot of people will learn from this and it will spur them on.
“Maybe there’s a bit of the Larry Hagman (JR Ewing) attitude at play with Larry Right. He is by no means everyone’s favourite but he has an aura, an attitude and a mental toughness about him.”
Anthony’s project is bordering on sensational if it catches fire here in Ireland and on the UK and American circuits. The Jack and Adam series will be released in chronological order as will The Larry Right series.
“My main aim all along was to plan the series and to have a lot of material in the back pocket to promote the entire venture. There is a whole new departure midway through the Jack and Adam series that will tick a lot of boxes and that has not been tried before.
“By the way, Jack and Adam are not static in terms of age. As the series progresses, they become teenagers, getting wiser and allowing me more scope to develop further plots.
“Only days after getting the first books into shops, the response has been amazing and people are very positive. Some children who have read the first book say they can’t wait for the next one. I’m kind of blown away by the reaction. People have been so warm and supportive. I have got great support all along from my parents, John and Maura, at home in Brookhill since the start of this project.”
On a humorous side, Anthony, who is a member of the staff at Errew NS for the past year, and who previously taught in Aghamore NS and Maree NS in Co Galway, is often mistaken for Mayo senior footballer Alan Dillon.
“It has happened on several occasions, from Westport to Coppers in Dublin. I met Alan in Westport some time ago. He’s a lovely guy and a great gentleman. I was in Croke Park cheering on Mayo against Tyrone on Saturday evening,” says Anthony. His brother John was a member of the Mayo team that reached the All-Ireland minor final in 2008 that drew with Tyrone in Croke Park and lost out in the replay in Longford.
For The Adventures of Jack and Adam, ‘Wanted’: Check out www.jackandadam.com. Available on Amazon, in paperback and e-book. For ‘The Larry Right Series’ - check out www.larryright.com, also available on Amazon. Also check out ‘The Adventures of Jack and Adam ‘ and ‘The Larry Right Series’ on Facebook for constant updates and news. The books are also available in several book stores around the western region.