Monday, 19 January 2015

It's a scoop!! Sarah Jane Butfield gets a sneak preview of Waterlow Park by Ian Probert #RPBP

Fan's of Ian Probert take note, he has a new release coming soon. I feel very privileged to have been given access to a sneak preview.

If you are not familiar with Ian's work then here is a short update:

Ian Probert has been scribbling down words ever since he learned to spell the phrase: 'Once upon a time...'. He is the author of Internet Spy, Rope Burns and a bunch of other titles. Internet Spy was a bestseller in the US and made into a TV film. Rope Burns is a book about why books shouldn't be written about boxing. Ian has also written things for a shed load of newspapers and magazines. When Ian was a student he used to write lots of letters to the bank manager.

Now remember where you read this first :)

Waterlow Park

By Ian Probert

Chapter 01 – sneak preview

“OMG! You’re in real trouble! You’re going to HAVE to give it back!’
That’s Sofia talking. She’s always so annoyingly sensible. She’s my sister. She’s younger than me by two years and a day but always SO sensible. 
“Don’t be stupid… I haven’t done anything wrong. Let’s think about it for a bit…”
That’s me talking. Stephen Dawkins. Older than Sofia by 731 days and six hours and not sensible at all.
“How much is there?” she asks.
“I dunno. A lot. Thousands and thousands and thousands I think.”
“OMG! Is it real money?’
“Course it’s real money, idiot. It’s got the Queen’s head on it and all that.”
“Yes, but it could be counterfeit. Forged. We did about that in school.”
“Don’t be silly. Feel it.”
Sofia feels the money. She picks up a big bundle of it in her tiny little white hands and holds it to her cheek. She sniffs it. She runs her nails along it. “Well it feels real,” she says. “Where did you find it again?”
“Waterlow Park,” I say for the umpteenth time. “I told you: I was walking home from school this afternoon – got it down to 1.1 miles – and I noticed something in the bushes near the duck pond. It was a big black plastic sack full of this… Money.”
Sofia pulls a face. “Well it must be somebody’s money. People just don’t leave sackfuls of money lying around in bushes. Perhaps it was a surprise for someone.”
“You’re not listening to me are you? I told you I looked around and there was nobody about at all. It was raining and the park was completely deserted. Apart from some old biddy giving bread to the ducks.”
“Maybe it was hers?”
“I don’t think so. She had one of those walking frame things…”
“Zimmer frame?”
“Yes, that’s it. She had a zimmer thingie and she was moving at about ten miles a year. She wouldn’t have been able to even pick up the money.”
“Well how did you manage to pick it up? It’s very heavy There’s a lot of it.”
I smile and try to wink but I’ve not quite mastered winking yet. This is where I was clever. This is where I used that devious little brain of mine. I try to sound as cool as possible – like this sort of thing happens every day: “Well I had to use my head,” I explain. “You can’t have people seeing me lug a big sackful of money through the park – can you? So I dragged it to another place – you know that clump of trees behind the playground with the climbing frame and the jumpy thing? And then I covered it with leaves and dog shit…”
“I’m telling!” Sofia immediately interrupts my story and crosses her arms. She’s such a prude is Sofia. “You’re not allowed to use that word!”
“Oh all right,’ I say. “Dog poo if it makes you happy. I did this so nobody would touch it. Then I rushed home and got my backpack.”
“I did wonder what you were doing with your backpack,” says Sofia. “I knew you were up to something.”
“It took thirteen separate trips for me get all that money into my backpack and then back here,” I say, a little too proudly I think. “I had to be careful, you know. I had to make sure that nobody noticed me. And nobody did.”
Sofia frowns again and shakes her head. “So you’re telling me that you decanted all that money from the sack into your backpack and carried it back here thirteen times? You’re mad.”
Sofia’s such a brain-box. She’s always using big words like ‘decanted’ but this time it’s me who’s the clever one. “Well I could hardly carry it through the streets could I? People would have smelled a rat.”
Sofia holds her nose and stares over at the black plastic sack which still has traces of the dog shit I rubbed on it. “Well I can smell more than a rat,” she says. 


It was a normal day like any other when I found the money. I can’t really say any more than that. It was raining a little. The sky was grey, I suppose. The grass was wet and I was making my way home from school. I’m eleven-years-old and I go to William Ellis Boys School in Hampstead. It’s only my second week at the school but I’m guessing that it’s still pretty unusual to find a big bin liner full of money in the bushes. I only found it because I was trying out a new route. I have an app on my phone that records exactly how far you walk and draws a line on a map that shows your route. I’ve been trying to find the quickest route to the school. On the first day I walked exactly 1.3 miles. On the second I walked exactly 1.21 miles. And it was only because I was trying to shave as much as possible off the distance that I ended up walking close to the bushes and spotting that bag of money. Today I walked 1.1 miles, which I don’t think I’ll better.


“What’s mum and dad going to say?” asks Sofia.
This is where I get annoyed. I don’t normally shout and things but sometimes you have to if you need to make a point. “Mum and dad aren’t going to say anything…” I say in a loud voice – not shouty like dad – just loud.
“…Because mum and dad aren’t going to find out,” says Sofia. Sofia has an annoying habit of finishing everybody’s sentences. 
“They’re definitely not going to!” I say. 

And with that I/we hatch a plan. 


Stay tuned for release day news.
Have a great week,

Sarah Jane

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