Being a lover of all things spooky and all things toilet humour, one afternoon I sat down and gleefully sketched out ‘The Were-Poo’. I truly believed this to be my magnum opus and imagined my young readers howling with laughter and me basking in publication success.
In brief, The Were-Poo is about a poo that becomes sentient under a full moon and it hunts and eats forest creatures. The sun rises and it becomes normal poo again, allowing the animals to break free.
My bubble was about to burst. I asked my husband to read my draft, expecting him to love it as I did.
Instead, his response was along the lines of ‘what were you thinking?’
His main arguments:
- Sentient poo is gross
- A poo that eats forest creatures is gross and terrifying
- This is not a fun story, it’s a horror story
Ok, so he probably had a point. Ok, maybe several points.
The deal was sealed when I read it to my 5 year old son, Robin – not a sensitive child, and a big fan of spooky stuff.
He wasn’t scared, but definitely had a ‘WTF?’ reaction.
I’ve thought a lot about The Were-Poo since, and realised that yes, it was totally mad and unsuitable. What the hell was I thinking? I’m eternally grateful to have had this realisation before submitting it for critique, or god forbid, to an agent.
That’s not to say I don’t still love The Were-Poo. One day I’d love to write a compendium of gross and spooky stories for older kids.
But for now, it’s a firm no to sentient carnivorous poo.