Interview with David Lawrence, ‘Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables’

The long awaited sequel to ‘Fox Swift’ was launched this week at Corrie Perkins My Bookshop, and let me reassure you, ladies and gentlemen, it was well worth the wait.

David Lawrence, Author

‘Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables’ is a fantastically (is that even a word?) awesome read, and today, I’m lucky enough to have the author himself, David ‘Starchy’ Lawrence, here to answer a few questions for the fans.

Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables - cool front cover
Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables – cool front cover

Hi Starchy, thanks for coming onto my blog again to talk about ‘Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables.’ A warm congratulations to both you and Cyril Rioli and the fabulous Jo Gill (the Illustrator) on the recent release and book launch of ‘Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables’.

Hi Neridah, thanks for having me here.

No worries at all, it’s my pleasure.

1. Tell us Starchy, how did you come up with the plot line for ‘Fox Swift takes on The Unbeatables.’ Being a footy fan, I found it a dastardly wicked plan and yet it is something that does happen in footy (perhaps on a smaller scale)?            

I used to play in the Amateurs many years ago, and successful sides were always suspected of paying players.

(That was often my team’s excuse: “What chance did we have? – Those guys are obviously being paid!”).

So, I thought it would be funny to have a junior footy coach so evil and desperate to win a premiership, that he would pay star under 13 players to join his club. I mean how low can you go?!

Yeah, I agree, it was just shocking.

2. You tackle some pretty serious issues that are prevalent in our society such as bullying, racism and discrimination. Where did you come up with these ideas? I hope they didn’t happen to you. That bully Mace Winter is a nasty piece of work.                   

I was a boarder at school so I definitely saw and experienced quite a lot of bullying.

I think it’s important to include these issues in my stories because kids have to deal with them everyday. (And many find it hard to talk about.)

I enjoy highlighting how thoughtless and ignorant bullies and racist people really are.

In my stories the bad guys always come undone (usually in a comical fashion) – unfortunately in real life that doesn’t always happen.

No, sadly you’re right. But I love the fact your bad guys get their comeuppance. 

3. I found the ending truly satisfying. How much time did you dwell on this and how to ‘tie it all together’?     

Thanks Neridah – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

I like to include a ‘twist’ in the plot, so a fair bit of time goes into planning the ending at the very start of the process.

It’s great to drop a series of clues throughout the book that only make sense at the very end.

4. What’s it been like to work with the great Cyril Rioli?


It’s great to chat to him about footy skills and drills – you ask him to explain how to ‘sell a dummy’ and a huge smile breaks out on his face.

Even though he is quietly spoken, don’t be fooled – he is an incredibly determined athlete who works very hard, especially to overcome his injuries.

The only time he has let me down this year was when he kicked the winning goal against my beloved Bombers.

And Collingwood unfortunately…nah, we love Cyril.

Cyril Rioli, Starchy, Jo Gill, (front) Toby McMullin
Cyril Rioli, Starchy, Jo Gill, (front) Toby McMullin

5. Tell us about your typical writing day and how you go about your novel writing? 

All writers are different, but here’s what works for me.

I start out by writing a one-page ‘sizzle’ document to get the publisher excited.

This includes mentions of the key characters and my next step is to start writing a character bible. I then go back to the one page document and start expanding it; adding plot twists and even snippets of dialogue for several days until the one page eventually becomes about 25 pages.

I then break the 25 pages into chapters – there are usually obvious places where problems are set up and resolved.

So with about a page of writing per chapter I then have a really clear blueprint for the book … and then I spend the next three months of weekends trying to meet a ridiculously ambitious deadline set by the publisher!

Wozwers, now that’s some serious planning. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong…

Just briefly I just want to touch on Jo Gill’s fabulous illustrations. Jo’s illustrations add so much to a quality reading experience. They are funny and enriching, truly complementary of Starchy’s jokes. They are a dynamic duo, these two!

Thanks so much Starchy for visiting my blog again today. Good luck with ‘Fox Swift takes on the Unbeatables’ We absolutely love it. It’s such an enjoyable read.

Thanks for having me, Neridah.

To read a synopsis about and to learn more about Starchy and Jo Gill, click here…‘Fox Swift takes on the Unbeatables’

Slattery Media published ‘Fox Swift takes on the Unbeatables’ and can be books can be purchased on-line at Slattery Media or can be found in any good bookstore. If it’s not in stock, get them to order it, it’s easy!

Here are the details:

Title: ‘Fox Swift takes on the Unbeatables’ written by David Lawrence and illustrated by Jo Gill

Published: August 2014

Format: PB

ISBN: 978 -0-9923791-1-7

Price: $16.95

Starchy has just spent the past week, as part of Book Week, up at the Twi Islands conducting school vists and workshops. We’ll have him back on my blog soon to tell us about his experiences.

So stay tuned folks 🙂

Starchy is also available for school visits at Booked Out Speakers Agency and I have to say he does seriously fantastic, interactive and hilarious school visits and workshops. So don’t miss out. BOOK NOW!!

More about David ‘Starchy’ Lawrence and Jo Gill

Hey, swanky new website you two!



  • Lynette

    Congratulations Starchy. Fascinating interview a always. You deserve all the success you are getting as you have obviously worked hard. We absolutely love the Fox Swift series in our house. Being a grandmother to three boys, it's so good to see them reading and laughing and enjoying it.
    August 11, 2014 at 08:35 am Reply
    • David Lawrence

      Thanks Lynette - you are a legend! Look forward to seeing you again soon. x
      August 11, 2014 at 08:48 am Reply
  • Ian McMullin

    Great work Starch, we loved the book, it was a real adventure for us reading the book through with Toby. It is great to see a young boy so totally enthralled in reading. We all can't wait for the third installment of Fox Swift and the dastardly Winter family. Well Done Neridah on the interview.
    August 11, 2014 at 08:30 am Reply
    • David Lawrence

      Thanks Muzz - Neridah gives amazing interviews filled with great questions. Was out at Mitcham PS today and they are very exciting about her visit tomorrow. Speak soon cheers Starch
      August 11, 2014 at 08:50 am Reply
  • Lachy

    Congrats Starchy! Your wicked sense of humour grabs me every time, great interview!
    August 11, 2014 at 08:41 am Reply
    • David Lawrence

      Thanks heaps Lachy - great questions make the interview a lot more fun. Hope all is fantastic with you and look forward to catching up soon. cheers Starchy
      August 11, 2014 at 08:07 am Reply

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Neridah McMullin

Photo By: Prue Sheed



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