Caaaaptain Atomic! Hero of the hour!
Caaaaptain Atomic! Watch the villains cower!
Fighting for right by day or night,
Look! There he goes in jet pack and tights.
Caaaaptain Atomic! Go Caaaaptain Atomic!
Boom! Exciting! Hero! Whoosh!*

*Theme from the Captain Atomic Saturday Morning Adventure Hour. (Check TV listings)

Jonny and Tommy don’t see a lot of their dad, otherwise known as Captain Atomic, Champion of Albion City and the World’s Greatest Superhero – and when they do he’s usually just refueling his jet pack or recharging his multi-gun before another adventure. What’s more, he’s so worried about protecting his boys from his enemies that he keeps them cooped up on Atomic Island. Time for the boys to prove they’ve got what it takes to follow in their father’s footsteps...

Captain Atomic is a superpowered Renaissance Man – apart from being the strongest, toughest and fastest human being on the planet, he’s cured the common cold, created the self-cleaning saucepan, saved the world seventy-two times and brushes his invincible teeth twice a day. Go, Captain Atomic!

You guessed it: illustration by Jamie Littler. Thanks Jamie!




Sometimes, Mummy and Daddy don’t always get along. 
Sometimes, Mummy and Daddy argue. 
Sometimes, Mummy and Daddy decide they can’t be together any more. 
And, very occasionally, Mummy and Daddy spend their days in pitched battle for the fate of the world.

Jonny and Tommy’s mother is the planet’s most powerful telekinetic – she can fly at super speed, create force fields, transmute matter and lob a Boeing 747 half a mile.

Aided and abetted (when not in prison) by her henchmen, the mad and monstrous Chaos, Inc.!

Illustrations by Jamie Littler



I had mostly lovely teachers growing up. However, there was one, just one, who seemed to take great pleasure in making everyone in the classroom feel as small and worthless as possible. Ms Crackdown – Jonny and Tommy Atomic's teacher at Babblebrook school – is my attempt at explaining how someone could justify being that much of an unbelievable, unremitting, unparalleled rotter.

Illustration by Jamie Littler



Didn't get the chance to blog on yesterday, so here are two mini-bios for the price of one! (Note: mini-bios are free.)

Problem: while Dad is out saving the world, who’s going to look after the kids? (Especially as Mum’s in prison for trying to take over the world.) Solution: Use your scientific genius to create super intelligent, talking animal guardians.


Uncle Dogday is an austere, gruff old schnauzer with a genius level IQ. An expert in quantum mechanics, AI, communications and chasing his own tail. Serves as Captain Atomic’s right-hand-hound, as well as training Jonny and Tommy in the use of their powers. Bedtime dictator. In his spare time, Dogday enjoys chess and (to his shame) squeaky chew toys.


Aunt Sandwich is a ridiculously positive brown and white hamster. She’s the emotional backbone or the Atomic family, delivering sage advice to the twins (whether they want it or not) regarding life, the universe and the secret to a perfect mushroom ravioli. Aunt Sandwich is a qualified pilot (Atomic Bomber/light aircraft/time machine) and expert in munitions and cheek storage.

Illustrations by Jamie Littler



I appear to be blogging. Almost daily. I'm as amazed as you. 

Here's the second in our mini-bio tour of the Atomic! universe. Feels weird, always putting an exclamation mark after Atomic! It's like I'm shouting. Still... What's one Atomic! (...) brother without the other?


The youngest of the twins by 5-and-a-half minutes, Jonny has always known that if anyone is going to take up his father’s mantle and become the next Captain Atomic, it'll be him. But, unlike his brother, Jonny doesn’t relish the idea of being the World’s Greatest Superhero – he knows what a burden it is. The people of Albion City depend on Captain Atomic, which means he has little time for anything else – even his kids. Jonny would love to be ordinary, at least for a while. He even manages to convince his dad to send him and Tommy to school. Which is when the trouble starts...

Jonny has similar powers to his dad: super strength, speed and invulnerability. His brother calls him a “tank”... all force and no finesse. But Jonny is smarter – and more powerful – than he appears.

Illustration by Jamie Littler



Here's the first of a bunch of mini-bios about the major players in Atomic! Kicking off with one of the series' heroes.


Atomic! started as an idea called Son of a Superhero - and the plan was just to have one son. It probably would have been Jonny – a serious 9 year old who felt the burden of responsibility and expectation. Luckily, I decided twins would be a better idea. Tommy was the kick in the face that the story needed – reckless, outgoing, mischievous and (after a lifetime of being hidden away on Atomic Island) keen to show the world what he could do. 

Tommy's powers come from his mother side - telekinesis (the ability to move objects with the power of his mind) which also allows him to fly, throw this brother around, juggle cars... and steal crocodiles.

But that’s not all Tommy has in common with his mum – he also thinks he’s better than ordinary people and isn’t afraid to prove it. All of which makes him perfect sidekick material for Madame Malice. Will he be a hero (dramatic pause) or a villain?

Illustration of Tommy: Jamie Littler
Inspiration for Tommy: My brother, Ian*

*Find out more about the origins of Atomic! at The brilliant Book Zone (for Boys)



Ah, book-coming-out-day... when a book-writing-maker-person (they should think of a proper name for that) declares "My work here is done!" and sits back, serene, harmonious, sanguine-nay-buoyant, sipping champagne and sniffing caviar... 

So, as I rock back and forth, sweaty-fretting about sales, reviews and opinions, re-refreshing still-fresh stats and rankings, glugging cold coffee and mumbling about immutable fate and impossible uncertainty in alternating breaths, I remind myself that this is the whole point of being a book-writing-maker-person. The book must meet the shelf.

Trepidation aside, I couldn't be more excited about these books if I got a facial tattoo of a big, stupid grin. Over the next few days and weeks I'll be posting bios of some of the major players and giving a bit of story behind the story. In the meantime, here's a picture of the heroes of the series, Jonny and Tommy Atomic, jumping off a flying island. BOOM.

Thanks again to Jamie Littler for the illustration!



In case I haven't banged on about this enough already, I'm as chuffed as a panda with a mouthful of bamboo that Stitch Head has been picked for the Richard and Judy Children's Book Club. The little chap's in some pretty serious company too. Have a look:

Richard and Judy's Children's Book Club

R&J at WHSmith