Illustrated by Peter Carnavas
(with help from Duane)
Published by University of Queensland Press 2012
My Totally Awesome Story is about Duane, a footy-playing, motorbike-riding kid who is the coolest, toughest, bestest person ever. Just ask him! He plays pranks on his best mate Meatball, chases the cute girl Jackie and battles against his enemies – the deputy principal, the other kid that likes Jackie and that massive dude with a moustache from the other footy team. The last thing Duane wants to do in his life is write a story. But that’s exactly what he must do. Through his writing workbook, Duane learns how to put a story together and, who knows – he might just write the coolest, bestest, funniest, most totally awesome story ever!
Pat Flynn crafted this clever story together after running writing workshops with kids all over Australia for the past ten years. Not only does the book make kids laugh on every page, it teaches them how to write their own totally awesome story, too, as Pat has slipped truckloads of writing tips and ideas into the book. I was lucky enough to be asked by Pat to illustrate the story, with one condition: it needed to look like Duane had drawn the pictures. After playing around with some ideas that were just a bit too polished, I made the decision to switch to drawing with my left hand, giving the illustrations a slightly wobbly, naïve look that matches the humour and energy of Duane. I don’t think I’ve had so much fun drawing pictures since I was Duane’s age!