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At the weekend, for reasons too complicated to explain, I spent a couple of hours thinking about my dreams – not the sort where your teeth are falling out while you’re being chased by your O-level maths teacher for your overdue homework, but the sort where you imagine and plan for the future (as in “hopes and dreams”).  The brief was to dream big – to write down anything, regardless of likelihood or practicality.  Of course several of my dreams related to the Sam books and I thought I would share those with you:

  • To publish two more Sam Plank books, taking the series to seven
  • To hear one of the Sam books read aloud on Radio 4 as their “Book of the Week”
  • To win “The Selfies” in April 2019
  • To see “Fatal Forgery” on sale in Tesco and Waitrose [one for the numbers, the other for the snobbery…]
  • To open a national newspaper and see one of the Sam books unexpectedly and favourably reviewed
  • To have the Sam series recommended by Mariella Frostrup
  • To see the Sam series turned into a Sunday evening costume drama on the BBC, with Claudie Blakley playing Martha – Sam is still to be cast.

Here’s Claudie in “Lark Rise to Candleford” – and maybe moody Brendan Coyle would work as Sam…


What surprised me when I went back over my Sam dreams was that none of them mentions money.  Sure, winning an award or getting a review heard/read by thousands would increase sales, but what seems to matter to me is a wide readership rather than earning a fortune.  I do appreciate that I am in the lucky position of having a day job quite apart from my Sam writing, which means that I do not have to rely – thank goodness! – on Sam income, but still, it’s shown me that I am motivated by getting people to read Sam rather than by getting them to buy books.  I’ve blogged before about my unhappy experience with libraries and the PLR system, but despite this I would be just as happy to see more people borrowing the Sam books as I would to see sales increasing.  (I just love checking our local library catalogue and seeing all the Sam books out on loan.)  So that’s the dreaming done – now on with the reality of writing.