The story of the rebellious gladiator who almost brought the mighty Roman Empire to its knees!

A few years ago I found myself facing a problem with a book I was writing about the rebellious gladiator Spartacus. It turned out that the publishers thought it was too short – they wanted me to make it a third longer. I was very busy, and so I asked my son Tom if he would be willing to help me.

At the time he was teaching English in Thailand, but he said he’d have a go, and I thought he did a great job. Of course I had been secretly training him since he was born to take over the family business – that’s why I spent so much time reading to him, and taking him to see inappropriate films when he was young (“It says you have to be 18 to see Terminator II, Dad, but I’m only 9.” “Shhh – and try to look a bit older.”)

Since then he and I have worked on a number of projects together – you can see them here. We have a great working relationship – I am the genius with all the experience and he does the heavy lifting. He can be a bit difficult sometimes, especially when I change the plot of the story, but I like to think he’s learned a lot from his older, wiser, Mr Miyage-like father. He does insist on travelling for some reason – currently he’s in China. Thank goodness for e-mail, that’s all I can say. Our two most recent collaborations – Already Dead and Titanic: Death in the Water were actually written while we were thousands of miles apart. It didn’t seem to do them any harm, though! In fact, I think they’re among the best things I’ve ever worked on.

The Son Also Rises

Tom Bradman writes…

“As if one writer in the family isn’t more than enough,”

was all Mum said when she found out that I wanted to be a writer too. As it turned out, nothing about dinner with the family really changed. The Old Man and I had been monopolising meal-time conversation with talks about the latest sci-fi books and zombie films for as long as anyone could remember. That stayed the same, except this time they were our stories and we’d worked on them together.

It’s been a learning experience for both of us. I’ve had the benefit of the Ancient One’s centuries of experience and he’s had the benefit of my innate talent. Being so close to each other means that we understand the references we’re both making, even when we forget the titles (‘You remember the episode where that guy does that thing?’ ‘Yeah! Just like in the film with the woman’). It certainly doesn’t hurt that we’ve been reading the same books and watching the same TV shows and films since I was a kid.

We’ve worked across a range of genres now, from horror to sci-fi to historical fiction, and hopefully we’ll keep trying new things. I think we’ve gone from strength to strength as a partnership and we can only improve. (We will if you keep doing what I say… Dad)

Click here to visit Tom’s page
on The Agency’s website. Tom is also now writing a great blog about his adventures in China. You can find it at:


Titanic: Death in the Water
A novel that tells the story of one boy’s experience on the Titanic.

Already Dead
A deadly virus has turned most people into flesh- eating zombies, and one boy reluctantly tries to save a group of survivors from themselves… A play for use in secondary school classrooms.


Space School
Four books about Luke and his friends. They’re stuck on a spaceship, refugees from Earth – but they still manage to have lots of exciting adventures!

The Gunpowder Plot and The Great Fire of London
Two short plays on historical subjects for use in KS1 classes