Pete Johnson
Pete Johnson
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‘LOUIS THE LAUGH’ BOOKS:



‘In Louis, Pete Johnson has created a boy who makes you laugh out loud.’ 
The Sunday Times





‘You really care about the characters and want to know how Louis’s adventures will pan out – while you laugh your socks off at the same time.’
The Book Trust





‘Pete Johnson is the unsung hero of entertaining writing, delighting both the proficient and reluctant reader.’
Ink Pellet


 

TOP OF THE CLASS
Pete's most popular books in schools



TRAITOR
Exciting thriller acclaimed for its anti-bullying themes. A highly popular class reader.

‘Pete Johnson’s skilfully written dialogue taking us into the story on the first page.’ 
The Bookseller

Book Club notes available on Traitor page.

 

 


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS
Best-selling comedy about ‘parent fatigue,’ introduces Pete’s most popular character - Louis.
A highly popular class read.

Children who read it will chortle away, feel better about themselves and have lots of jokes to tell.’
The Sunday Times

 

 


THE GHOST DOG
Award-winning spooky tale about the power of imagination. A big favourite and great stimulus for creative writing.

‘An incredibly enjoyable book … from a very accomplished writer.’
Books for Keeps

 


HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS
Highly topical comedy about technology and social media addiction. Already proving a favourite with book groups.

‘How to Update your Parents provides a fresh outlook on the subject … in a thoroughly entertaining way.’
Lovereading4kids

 


DIARY OF AN (UN)TEENAGER
Brilliantly observed comedy about becoming a teenager. A highly popular class reader, great for reluctant readers.

‘This is a very promising look at the slightly uncomfortable transition phase between childhood and adolescence. A compelling read.’
Book Trust

 

 


TRUST ME, I'M A TROUBLEMAKER
Award-winning comedy about Archie, who thinks he’s too ‘mature’ for school. All the pupils find him unbearable especially Miranda, the class trouble-maker. Widely regarded as one of Pete’s best comedies.

‘This is a cleverly crafted, fast-flowing comedy and the more subtle lessons in growing up and trying to change people won’t be lost either.’
Carousel

 

 


AVENGER
Award-winning thriller about bullying – interesting follow-up to ‘Traitor.  A gripping, challenging read.

‘This is a powerful tool for considering the causes of inadequacy and bullying and how bullies and their victims can both face them and conquer them.’
Book Trust

 

 


MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL
What happens when your parents ask for tips about being cool? Much-loved Louis comedy – a big hit with pupils – and adults. Yields great discussions.

‘A brilliant look at family life today. A hilarious story which will appeal to boys and girls alike.’
Parents in Touch


Book Club notes available on ‘My Parents Are out of Control’ page.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
SAVE AN INCREDIBLE 28% ON
‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS’

Those super people at WORDERY are celebrating the very first Louis the Laugh adventure with this amazing promotion.

Click here to buy ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS’ FOR £4.98 (SAVE £2.01)

 

PETE'S COMEDY WORKSHOP
Pete answers your questions about writing funny stories – and gives you some tips too.

How hard is it writing something which you hope is funny?

First of all I never, ever sit down and think. ‘Right, I’ve got to be hilarious now.’ That would just terrify me. Also, I don’t think of comedy as a genre, in the way horror or detective stories are. It’s more a style, a way of looking at life. So first of all you have to think about plot and your characters. That always comes first.

Can you give an example of what you mean?

Yes. One day I visited a neighbour’s house. There, up on a wall she had a plan for each of the three children’s leisure time. ‘I don’t want them to waste a second,’ she told me. I thought and thought about that for ages. Then I began to imagine who would absolutely hate having their life totally organised by their parents. I pictured a boy who was bottom of the class in everything. A boy who had only one ambition – to become a comedian. As I imagined his reactions – and what he would do – I began to smile. That character, of course, became Louis the Laugh and the book ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS.’

Do you worry about your stories being funny?

Oh yes, I’m constantly worried about that. And when I show early drafts to friends, I’m always listening outside the door, hoping I can hear them chuckling! But the comedy has to flow out of situations and characters. It can’t just be added on. That always feels phoney.

Do you hear your comic characters in your head?

Great question and yes I do. I believe the voice of your characters is especially important in funny stories.

Why is that?

Well, you know how some people you meet are just naturally funny. It doesn’t feel forced either. I aim for something exactly like that in my books. So humour just seems to be bubbling out of a character. The person may not even believe they are funny. Look at Adrian Mole or Archie in ‘Trust Me I’m A Troublemaker.

What’s the best part of writing a comedy?

Normally when I’m writing a story it’s rather like trying to talk on the phone on a train, where you keep losing the signal. So I might write a couple of lines, and then stop and think for a bit … and then maybe write another line. But occasionally the  character just takes over and talks away for pages and pages. I don’t feel as if I’m doing much at all, except scribbling down everything which my character tells me. It’s magical, exciting, mysterious. Those days are very rare though.

Do you have days when you don’t feel at all funny?

Most days. A couple of tips – sometimes a warm-up can help. So don’t start writing right away, maybe copy down a paragraph from your favourite funny book. I often do this and it always relaxes me and often frees up my imagination – and humour. The famous writer, Ernest Hemingway also had a suggestion. Before you finish one day – write down the first line you will need to get you started tomorrow. So next day there it is waiting for you. And you’ve begun without any worry at all.

Do you have favourite funny books which inspire you?

There are so many, I collected all Richmal Crompton’s ‘Just William’ books and Anthony Buckeridge’s ‘Jennings’ stories too. I loved Roald Dahl of course, but also Edward Eager, who wrote highly ingenious, witty fantasies such as, ‘Half Magic’ and ‘Seven Day Magic.’ Later I became a huge fan of Sue Townsend’s peerless Adrian Mole books. I also really like books like ‘Holiday at the Dew Drop Inn’ by Eve Garnett which is not exactly a comedy and yet she seizes the humour in every one of her characters and situations.  I admire too, a book I read recently, ‘Love Simon.’ by Becky Albertalli. This manages to be both heartbreaking and hilarious... I could go on and on.

Have you got any tips for young, aspiring comic authors?

Yes, don’t be put off by your first drafts. The book in your head can seem brilliant, then when you put it down on paper it appears so flat and dull and disappointing. That happens to me all the time. My first drafts are almost always very, very bad. You have to push past that and keep going. Don’t be afraid to cut too. It’s vital for all stories but especially funny ones. Flabby, over-written scenes can ruin your comic rhythm.

And finally, you have to write from your heart. Find characters and themes you really care about. The humour will follow.

P.S. Writing is really just imagining and pretending. So never be afraid of it. Or think you can’t do it. Just relax and have fun.

 

With special thanks to:
Little Green Junior School
Chater Junior School
Marlborough Secondary School
And my niece Zoe, for asking me so many interesting questions.
It was a pleasure to answer them.

 

PETE JOHNSON’S BOOKS ARE FILLED WITH LAUGHTER

In September Pete will be speaking at The Youth Libraries Group Conference in Manchester on the subject of Funny Fiction and especially his five phenomenally popular LOUIS THE LAUGH books.

‘Pete has a great ear for comedy, using humour that really helps to engage even less keen or confident readers.’
Jake Hope, Chair of Youth Libraries Group

‘Pete Johnson is the unsung hero of entertaining writing that delights both the proficient and reluctant reader …. has you lauging in loud snorts just as you’re fighting tears of empathy.’
Ink Pellet

So to celebrate we highlight Pete’s . . .

TOP TEN FUNNIEST TITLES . . .

 
 

. . . THE LOUIS THE LAUGH BOOKS

Louis has just one ambition – to be a comedian. His parents have other ideas! These fun-filled stories also have something to say about life today, as Louis and his parents disagree about everything, from homework to how much time he should spend on on his computer!

‘Louis is a boy who makes you laugh out loud.’ Sunday Times

‘Those Louis the Laugh books have got my eleven year old reading. She actually seems to be enjoying them.’ Amazon review

‘How to Train Your Parents’
Pete Johnson addresses big issues in a frank manner and with a light touch.’                                       
Junior Education

My Parents Are Out Of Control’
‘Very funny. As a parent made me sympathetic with my children and what they have to put up with.’            
Good Reads

‘My Parents Are Driving me Crazy’
Appeals to teens and tween-aged readers of both sexes and all reading ages.’                                                
Good Reads

How to Update Your Parents’
A rip-roaring hilarious adventure.’                  
Book Trust

‘How to Fool Your Parents’
Packed with jokes and funny observations on contemporary teen life. This is super-readable.’                   
LoveReading4Kids    
                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

. . . SPENCER THE (UN) TEENAGER

Next to Louis the Laugh, Pete’s most popular character is Spencer, who likes his life exactly as it is. And when he turns thirteen he decides to take a stand and promises he will never turn into a teenager.

No, he will stay an ‘Unteenager’ forever!

‘I think it will be hard to find a reader who couldn’t relate to even a tiny bit of Spencer’s story. So it’s a book for everyone who is going or gone through the teenage years.’ 
Nayu’s Reading Corner

‘Diary of an (Un)Teenager’
’I was so chuffed that my twelve year old couldn’t put this down … this household loves Pete Johnson.’      
Amazon Review

‘Return of the (Un)Teenager’
‘Definitely another winner from Pete Johnson.’    
Bookworm

 

 

 

 

 


 

. . . AWARD WINNERS

 

‘Trust me I’m a Troublemaker’
‘A lovely, funny book which  explores the ideas of misfits and labelling people in a wonderfully funny way.’
School Librarian

‘Help I’m a Classroom Gambler’
‘Really funny, clever, exciting and completely draws the reader in.’                                                             
Supernanny

‘The Vampire Blog’
‘It’s the dialogue that really sparkles – Perfect.’
The Book Bag

‘There’s something about this book that I really loved.’
Good Reads

As Louis the Laugh says, ‘SMILE ON . . . AND ON.’

 
 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS is laugh out loud funny and keeps you engaged until the end. This is the best comedy book I have ever read and I want to read the whole series.’ Amazon review - Five stars
 
WHAT'S HOT?
Brilliant new editions of Pete’s pacy, laugh out loud stories from the best selling JAMIE’S MAGIC CAPE series. Pete says, ‘I am thrilled with these bold, dynamic new editions of some of my best loved stories.’
AVAILABLE FROM MAY 2018
 
‘Bags of boy and girl appeal in this story – and the idea of a magic cloak (cape) and a never ending chocolate bar will make it quite irresistible to young readers.’
FUN KIDS
 
‘Along with being a great read for children 7-11 it  is a popular choice for literacy lessons/activities. This is a very humorous novel that keeps the reader entertained from beginning to end.’
Amy, Goodreads
AVAILABLE FROM AUGUST 2018
 

Another hilarious adventure, just right for those who are enjoying reading their first books on their own – but fun to read aloud too.’      
Parents in Touch

 

‘A wonderful story for KSI readers.’
Sidra, Goodreads

     

 
 

  "It was a fabulous event – my best ever launch." Click here for Pete's blog about the launch of MY PARENTS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY’ at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.  

 

Pete’s all-time favourite children’s book is ‘101 Dalmatians’ by Dodie Smith, so he is delighted to have his picture taken at The Spotted Dog in Flamstead.