Today I am pleased to welcome the amazingly talented, award winning author Bill Condon. Bill is celebrating his new book, All of Us Together with a promotional tour. Just for something different, I’m posting a play that Bill wrote based on the book. Enjoy this extract from the story. It’s bound to make you smile.
We don’t have to wish Bill good luck with his book, his reputation as a great writer is so well known that I’m sure it will fly off the shelves.
All of us Together is a junior fiction novel set in Australia’s Great Depression of the 1930s.
When John O’Casey leaves his family to go in search of work, his wife Margaret is left to raise their three young children, Daniel, Adelaide, and Lydia. Daniel, being the eldest, tries to take on the role of being a leader, but as he discovers, it’s hard to be a man, especially for a boy who’s only twelve-years old.
Although the events within these pages take place many years ago, it is not primarily an historical novel, but one that examines the lives of the same kind of down-to-earth people, who live and breathe today. This is about a family who remain hopeful and resilient, as they stand together through the hardest of times.
All of us Together is an uplifting story, told with poignancy and humour.
IT’S HARD TO BE A LEADER
A short play adaptation by Bill Condon from All of Us Together, a novel for children aged 8 to 12 years, published by About Kids Books (RRP $14.99)
NARRATOR: When John O’Casey left home to look for work his family knew he might be gone for a long time. Mum would need her son Daniel’s help, more than ever before. But was he up to the task?
MUM: If your sisters see you being brave, Daniel, then they’ll probably be brave, too. Today more than ever, you’ve got to be a leader.’
DANIEL: I’ll try, Mum.
MUM: I know you will. Now, have you brushed your teeth?
DANIEL: I’m not sure.
MUM: It’s either “yes, I have” or “no, I haven’t”. Which one?
DANIEL: No, I haven’t.
MUM: Leaders brush their teeth without their mothers telling them. It might be something to keep in mind.
DANIEL: All right.
MUM: Oh, while I remember it — I haven’t seen your underpants in the washing lately. How long have you been wearing those ones you’ve got on?
NARRATOR: Daniel does a quick calculation and come up with four. It sounds too high.
DANIEL: Only about two days, Mum.
NARRATOR: She looks at him like she’s having trouble believing a word that falls out of his mouth.
MUM: Before you leave this house, boy, I want you washed and brushed. Every last living bit of you.
DANIEL: Yes, Mum.
MUM: As for the state of your underpants — what if you got yourself skittled by a bus on the way to school? With dirty underpants on? How would that be?
DANIEL: Not the best.
MUM: That’s the first thing you’ve got right all morning. It would be a disgrace. There you’d be lying dead, and people would be looking at your dirty underpants. They’d think I was a neglectful mother. Is that what you want?
MUM: I should hope not. There’s hot water in the kettle. You can nip into the bathroom and get yourself washed. I won’t tell the girls about your father until you come back. Hurry along.
NARRATOR: But Daniel has a question that won’t let him leave.
DANIEL: Mum . . .
MUM: There’s a pair of clean underpants in your drawer. Off you go.
NARRATOR: He still doesn’t go.
MUM: Goodness, boy. You’re hanging around me like a bad smell. What is it you want?
DANIEL: There’s something I have to ask you.
MUM: I’ve got a mile of things to do. Won’t this keep till later?
DANIEL: One question, Mum. It’ll only take a few seconds.
MUM: A few seconds then, but not a breath more. Out with it.
DANIEL: I wanted to know if . . . if . . .
MUM: Oh for heaven’s sakes. If what, Daniel?
DANIEL: If you’re going to leave us, too?
NARRATOR: Mum stares at Daniel. For a moment it looks like she’s getting ready to bite his head off.
MUM: Oh yes, mister, I’ll pack my bags and leave this very day.
NARRATOR: Her stare becomes a smile.
MUM: If you don’t change those underpants!
Bill will also be touring online to promote his latest junior novel, All of Us Together, in the following blog tour:
17 November Di Bates http://www.diannedibates.blogspot.com.au
18 November Clancy Tucker http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au
19 November Sally Odgers http://promotemeplease.blogspot.com.au
20 November Sandy Fussell www.sandyfussell.com/blog
23 November Elaine Ouston https://elaineoustonauthor.com/ 24 November Melissa Wray http://www.melissawray.blogspot.com.au 25 November Susan Whelan http://www.kids-bookreview.com 26 November Romi Sharp http://www.justkidslit.com