Joe Friedman - Author Picture

Joe Friedman - Author

Joe Friedman was born in Chicago to deaf parents. He has written stories since he was seven and sold his first play at 13. He currently lives in north London and divides his time between writing and working as a psychotherapist. Boobela and Worm is his first book for children.

A Q&A with Joe about his novel, The Secret Dog

Do you have a favourite character in the book? Almost all of the main characters have been inspired by people I got to know or heard about on Skye – Yvonne, the vet, Calum, etc. – and my affection for the real people is, I think, present in how I’ve written the characters. Josh is more of an invention, but one very much based on my experience with patients who have been traumatised by the loss of their mother early in their lives.
What was your inspiration to write this story?
It was a late night conversation in Skye, between the old Skye vet, Neil Stephenson, and my friend Joe, that gave me the idea for a boy who was inspired by a vet to take care of small injured animals on the common. The book developed from this.

What is your favourite scene or moment in the book? It’s all my baby so there is much about the book I love, but the moments I find most emotionally satisfying are those in which Josh makes an emotional connection with people – Yvonne, his mum, and the final big scene with Calum, where he really begins to grow up.

If you could swap lives with one of your characters, who would you choose and why? This is an interesting question. My first thought was the vet, but then I thought of the day I spent following a vet around, and the places they had to put their hands . . . I think Josh has a pretty good life.

If your book was a film, who would you cast for the lead character? I’m hoping to get a chance to do this! The boy in Boyhood has now grown up, but I think he would have done rather well eight years ago!

What inspired you to become a writer? I’ve written since I was a boy – at first, rather unoriginal versions of comic books I’d read, e.g. about a man with superpowers who wore tights etc. I co-wrote a play with a friend at age ten which we put on in our class at school and then sold. I became editor of my high school newspaper, and at university I wrote a number of plays which won awards at the University of Michigan. So writing, in different forms, has been part of my life since I was young. The idea of writing for children only occurred to me when I had a child myself!

Featured Books, with extracts, by Joe Friedman

The Secret Dog
Joe Friedman
Good dog stories are irresistible and this one has everything that young readers want. Josh is living on a Scottish island with his crofter uncle following the death of his mother. He loves the island and its wildlife, often nursing...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 16/06/2015
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Boobela, Worm And Potion Power
Joe Friedman
A World Book Day 'Recommended Read' for 2011 A charming story about a shy young giant who is lonely because everyone runs away from her as she seems so frightening. Luckily Boobela has a friend Worm who is clever, witty...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/01/2010
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Boobela, Worm And Potion Power
Joe Friedman
A charming story about a shy young giant who is lonely because everyone runs away from her as she seems so frightening. Luckily Boobela has a friend Worm who is clever, witty and brave. In this second story the two...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/04/2008
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Boobela And Worm
Joe Friedman
A little girl who has grown into a giantess and a worm make an unlikely pair of friends but, after an almost disastrous start, Boobela and Worm just click. Boobela is shy and lonely, Worm is courageous and wise. Soon...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 29/03/2007
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