My name is Simon Spittle and I think – no, I know, I murdered Miss Belcher. I don’t carry a gun. Or a knife. Or even a toothpick, but yesterday, in French, I wished for her to be run over by a bus and, later that very day, she was. A big, red double-decker with yellow wheels and a picture of a clown on the bonnet. A Billy Smart’s Circus bus.
Simon is very different to Isabella. He is all elbowy and clumsy. She, on the other hand, is elegant and cool. He’s the school chess champ and has the IQ of a chemistry professor. She thinks flowers grow better if you feed them Bic Macs and play them Elvis songs. He has a 1/500 scale model of the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701 in his bedroom. She thinks it’s a frying pan.
Targeted Age Group:: 9-12
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Basically, I was working on story planning with a group of Year 6 students in a London school. One girl was having problems coming up with a story to plan so I suggested, ‘Why not plan a story about a boy who accidentally murders his teacher?’ She thought it was a wonderful idea and so did I. So much so, I ended up writing the story myself.
The character of Simon Spittle is rather complex. Usually the characters in my books are just normal kids thrust into an exciting adventure, but Simon’s a little different; he has Asperger’s syndrome. This is what it says in the front of the book:
Simon, the hero of this book, has Asperger’s syndrome. It is when a person finds it difficult to tell others what they need and how they feel. They also find it difficult to know how others feel and what is the ‘normal’ thing to do. Often, but not always, a person with Asperger’s can be very, very clever and can have overly-strong interests. Simon, for example, is obsessed by Star Trek. Both children and adults can suffer from it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I spent a lot of time (months) reading about Asperger’s and trying to understand how my character would behave and react in the story. It was a lot of fun but a lot of work. Hopefully, I got it right!
Billy Bob Buttons is a young talented author. On top of being a secondary school English teacher, he is also a pilot.
Born in the Viking city of York, he and his wife, Therese, a true Swedish girl from the IKEA county of Småland, now live in Stockholm and London. Their twin girls, Rebecca and Beatrix, and little boy, Albert, inspire Billy Bob every day to pick up a pen and work on his books.
When not writing, he enjoys tennis and playing ‘MONSTER!’ with his three children.
He is the author of the much loved, The Gullfoss Legends, Rubery Award finalist, Felicity Brady and the Wizard’s Bookshop, UK People Book Prize runner-up, TOR Assassin Hunter and TOR Wolf Rising.
‘I Think I Murdered Miss’ is his ninth children’s novel.