working wordsmith + happy husband + doting dad + amateur author + fledgling farceur + pretend prestidigitator + jolly hockeyologist
working wordsmith + happy husband + doting dad + amateur author + fledgling farceur + pretend prestidigitator + jolly hockeyologist

The Furgle And The Frimp

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-326-60578-0

eBook ISBN: 978-1-326-60579-7

Murder and mythology, kidnapping and corporate corruption, love and laughter, thrills and spills, death-defying danger, stunning stunts and a narrative riddled with visual gags.

It's all in this tale of very hot curry and its anti-social after-effects, an imminent alien invasion of Earth, an ancient Greek god, baked beans which glow in the dark, a space-travelling Citroen 2CV, the most unlikely collection of cliched characters ever brought together in order to save the world, and the full, formidable, force of the waggly finger.

It all comes together in a convuluted, spaghetti-bowl, plot with more twists and turns than a particularly twisty-turny thing, but stick with it because it does all kind of come together in the end.

Just remember, flatulence could get you everywhere.

the story behind the story

This was the first book I ever finished writing. And, bearing in mind I started it at the age of 13 or 14, then it's hardly surprising that it's full of toilet humour and flatulence. However, over the years, I have repeatedly returned to it, tweaked it, and have just never been able to let it go because ultimately, and quite simply, it still makes me laugh.

Its juvenile origins were such that the main protagonist was originally called nothing more original than 'The Big Puff', before I learned about actually doing some basic research, and discovered the apparent god of wind.

It was always the case that the main love interest was going to be French, but way back when I started, the only female French name that sprang immediately to mind was Simone. And I had absolutely no idea what her second name was going to be or if, in fact, she needed one.

But as my way with words 'improved' (I use the term advisedly), Simone morphed into the fabulously fanciable Francesca Francais, from France, because it amused me, and I do like my alliteration.

My Chinese 'profit' was originally called Dung Loo Pan, but I changed it purely because I had come up with the one-liner about his daughter.

In 1991, I started working in a two-man office of a regional daily newspaper. My partner-in-crime, a man 20 years my senior, is a remarkable wordsmith. He also had a particular affinity for female bottoms - the walls of our office were adorned with 'artistic' postcards. Through his thesaurus-like mind, I discovered words I had never heard before, including many that related to bottoms, and which I subsequently used as character names. For example, Nates, Cally Pygous (calipygous meaning 'shapely buttocks'), and Professor Boris Fartzheimer became Rumple Podex.

But my real-life partner in crime had far more of an influence on me than just expanding my vocabulary (and introducing me to the avuncular bunch that I would travel to Blackpool with, inspiring The Big One). I had told him of my authoring aspirations, and the difficulties I had in coming up with plot and structure (it can often, truly, be said of me that I lose the plot). He responded by motivating me through bribery. He bet me 20 pints of beer that I would not finished the manuscript by the end of the year. I think this was 1993. I did finish the first draft, won my 20 pints. And I even dared to send it to a couple of publishers.

In 1998, I did a bit of a re-write. And then I abandoned this "juvenile" work to concentrate on real life and some other, 'proper', writing.

In 2006, I was having a clear out and came across the old manuscript. On the verge of binning it, I read it again, for old time's sake. And it amused me. So I did another re-write, introducing, for the first time, new characters including Maurice Mann, the morris man, and Auberon Dunderfunk.

When I finally discovered the means to self-publish without breaking the bank, I published Dr U Who first as I thought this would appeal to an already-established audience, and it might be an effective way to get my name out there. So it ended up being the third book I published.

It is intended to be the first part of a trilogy. The second instalment would be something of a Star Wars parody, set in space and thwarting an attempted second invasion by the aliens from the first book. The final part of the trilogy will see Aeolus return, and would become a mish-mash of Indiana Jones and Back To The Future, as our heroes embark on a quest through time in order to find the one weapon which could put paid to Aeolus once and for all. Watch this space, because no matter how juvenile it is, I've never been able to let it go, so while somewhat much later than I expected, don't rule out those sequels appearing at some point...

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© 2017 Darren Bane