A YORKSHIRE author whose “spine-tingling” Mokee Joe novels are enjoyed by thousands of children is launching his fourth book among fans in Harlem, New York.
Peter J Murray is in the States for the world premiere tomorrow of his fourth book in the Mokee Joe series.
Mr Murray, from Silsden, near Keighley, gave up a secure assistant headmastership job at one of Britain’s leading preparatory schools, Cheam, to try to become a children’s author.
Now with a series of publishing deals and a best-selling trilogy behind him, he has chosen New York to launch the latest instalment.
The former Rotherham steel worker turned Cambridge-educated maths and physics teacher will be launching Mokee Joe – Mutant Resurrection, at the Harlem Theatre in New York.
He says the fourth in the series, which has been inspired by demand by children in both America and Britain, is an exciting new step in the US publishing market.
“I started working in America through a sponsor called the Carmel Hill education programme, who through a multi-million dollar benefactor, work to develop educational resources throughout schools in America.
“I worked in Harlem and Washington Heights, working with what might be called underprivileged children from various backgrounds, and they just went crazy for Mokee Joe.
“My first three novels were already doing well in Britain thanks to sales via Amazon and at Waterstone’s bookshops, and people said to me, ‘if you are going to be successful in America, you need to write a book which is ‘Americanised’’.
“But what we found was the kids were actually picking up on the quirkiness of the English side of the books – all the language nuances and Northern references etc.”