• Brittany, B and the Circus

    25 January 2023

    A Shanster by the name of BRITTANY messaged me on Facebook yesterday to say she was reading my Zom-B series. She noted a couple of things which I thought were worth sharing.


    1) She said, "I feel so bad for B, and in a way I think she is self centered, but I love her."


    This was music to my ears!! B Smith is one of my most complex leading characters, a contradictory figure who is loathsome in many ways at certain times of the story (especially at the start), but who I hope readers come to love, or at least respect and admire, over the course of the series. There's no doubt she proved too unlikeable for some readers in book 1, who couldn't get over the fact that she didn't immediately take a stand against her racist father -- but I wanted to explore what it would be like to be raised by a hateful person, to be brought up in a house where you had to mimic their vile rhetoric or be severely punished, and how difficult, but essential, it would be to finally stand up to them and do the right thing.


    In these polarizing times, when many people are being led astray by hatemongers and scaremongers on the far right fringes, I think it's important to remember that people CAN change, especially when they're young and less entrenched in their ways and views, and to cling to hope through the adventures of fictional characters like B that at least some of those who have fallen for the lies of dangerous ringmasters and parents WILL see truth, and sense, and basic human decency, and choose to change.


    2) Brittany mentioned that she's been borrowing the books from her library to read them, but had to buy the eBook of Zom-B Circus because her library didn't stock it. This came as no surprise to me, as a physical edition of Zom-B Circus has never been available to buy. It was only ever issued as a free giveaway in the UK with a copy of SFX magazine, so I imagine almost no librarians have ever added it to their stock. BUT the eBook remains on sale, at a VERY low price -- down around the one dollar/one pound/one euro price point.


    For those of you who haven't read/have never heard of Zom-B Circus... It's a short, additional book in the series, not an essential part of the main storyline, but it does tie in with it neatly, following one of B's teachers, who captures the eye of a certain Mr Dowling... I wrote it for World Book Day, but the people who choose those books read the synopsis and immediately decided to reject it, without reading any further!!



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