Finally Badger’s Waddle has made to the printers (both paper and e-book)! YEE-HAAA! Many thanks to Tim at Greyhart for persevering and determination, particularly at a time of some personal concern for him (all my best thoughts on that matter to you and yours).
Also, though I’ve said thanks before, thanks again to Dean Harkness for his truly great and fun cover work!
SO, what’s the early days response from the readers who are, after all, the only critics who actually count. Well, it’s a mixed bag. I’m pleased that the majority are positive, with very kind analogies towards the great Terry Pratchett and the even greater Monty Python. Of course there are negatives, too, and all are justified. The thing about writing something for a mass market is that nobody is ever going to please everyone (confession: even my wife didn’t like BW, so if other’s don’t like it too I can’t find fault with them).
One word of explanation about exactly what BW is – or more correctly, about what it is not. It isn’t a linear story. It doesn’t follow a pattern. It doesn’t subscribe to any particular genre. It’s not educational.
What I wanted to do with the book was present ‘episodes’ in the lives of rather wacky villagers with fantastical backdrop to measure against. One criticism was that some of the ‘chapters’ in BW had no logical connection to others, and that is absolutely correct. The point is that in any village/town/city you care to name, every single house/bungalow/flat will have a story of its own, a story that is wholly unconnected to any neighbours. Just look at the news headlines on almost any day and you will see banners proclaiming: “They seemed such a quiet family,” say neighbours, or similar.
And so it is with BW.
As for the ‘gross’ aspects of the book, well – this is inevitably a matter of personal viewpoint; but I confess it was intentional. I wanted to see if I could write something that was gross without recourse to crudity, and I think I just about managed that. (As it happens, one chapter was originally a bit more naughty than the one that actually made it to the printers.) So, for those who read it and are revolted I can only say ‘Sorry’ – but the blurb does, I think, give you fair warning!