that while Agent Gambit features on every cover – sometimes joined by an adversary – daughter Amber is strangely absent (and she’s only made it to the back cover once). What’s going on here?

‘I wanted her to be on the cover of the first book, but I think the pressure came from sales,’ says Guy. ‘I was gutted, because I don’t think of the books as being particularly ‘boyish’ or ‘girly’. I was of the opinion that if there was a dinosaur and a girl on the cover, then there was something for everyone. I don’t believe girls would look at dinosaurs and think, oh no, that’s not for me, and I don’t believe boys will look at a cover with a girl on it and put it back down again.’

Will she ever make the leap to the front cover? They are a partnership, after all.

‘Well, the initial designs for the first cover had them both. I hope she does make it to the cover.’ Guy sighs. important…’

‘It’s not like she’s not

The Spynosaur series are all published by Little Tiger Press. The fourth book in the series, No More Mr Nice Spy (978-1847159090), will be out this June for £5.99.

Guy’s commitment to spies is impressive, but it was another one of his spy creations – a less successful book – that encouraged him to turn his talents to a dinosaur secret agent.

‘I wrote a book called Secret Santa and very naively thought it was the best idea I’d ever had! But obviously it has Father Christmas on the cover, which means it only sells for two months a year. I had planned a second book but the figures didn’t add up, so that’s when I knew I had to find a great spy story idea.’

The first Spynosaur book is dedicated to Guy’s wife, Ruth, who ‘puts up with the comics, cartoons and action figures of my adulthood.’ This has all the hallmarks of an association that dates all the way back to Guy’s childhood.

‘I used to read lots of UK comics as a kid,’ Guy explains. ‘My brother got Buster and I used to get Whizzer and Chips. Then we were in Cornwall one year on holiday, and my uncle took my brother and me down to this little shop that had a special rack of US superhero comics – and our lives were changed forever in a fundamental way! It absolutely rocked our world. There was Marvel, there was DC – and I am just a huge superhero fan. So yes, my wife does have to put up with a lot. There are lots of books, comics and graphic novels in my study, but there are also three shelves full of action figures too. They’re rammed – the shelves are straining under the weight of it all.’

Of course, every writer has moments when looking up from their screen, or page, that a little distraction can be rather helpful. Does Guy ever interactive with his action figures during these moments, perhaps?

‘I have been known to take a robot off a shelf, and turn it into a car and back again,’ Guy admits. ‘Yes, it’s very therapeutic, to be honest. Obviously when you’re writing you work alone a lot, but I have all these tiny faces staring at me all the time, non-judgmental superheroes. ‘Hey Spiderman, what do you think of this?’’

As most of us know, this year we’re marking the centenary of women receiving the vote, and hopes are high that 2018 will be a watershed year in terms of gender equality. But what are publishers doing to play their part? One thing I’ve noticed with the Spynosaur books, is

Damian Kelleher is a writer and journalist.

Books for Keeps No.229 March 2018 7

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