Guest Blog: Henry Cadd Part II

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Guest Blogs

I’m delighted to welcome Henry Cadd to my blog for the second guest-spot in a row today. Henry, 54, is the northern writer of a trio of best-selling novels and a host of short fictions. He recently organised a new literary festival which he boasted would ‘rival any the UK had to offer’, however, attendance was poor, and Cadd has been attacked. Accused of using the festival as a means of self-promotion for his novels. Henry reliably informs me that he’s usually a lot more placid than he is here, however, something’s really got his goat recently, and he’s seized this platform with which to submit his defence…

Henry has neglected to submit a photo to accompany his guest blog. This blog has been penned as an answer to some of the comments which have been floating about the web since Henry’s last, controversial appearance…

It has been remarked-upon that in my previous blog, a blog which had a very ultimate feel to it, but which I’ve now come to realise will now be seen as penultimate, and there’s a pun in there, which, had I the time or inclination to think about it, would soon set my ink a-flowing… Apologies. I appear to have lost the momentum of that sentence.

I’ll start again. I am a generous man. Generous to a fault, some might say. I’m the Good Samaritan; the equivalent of that favourite English Literature teacher from school, the one you’ll always remember; your constant reader and your inspiration. I extend the hand of friendship, I provide (free) advice, and I help you to grow, organically, in order that you may become the beautiful writerly flower garden you so want to be.

But fucking hell, some people can take it too far. Some people make a grab for my hand and then use it to pull me down into the mire with them. Or else they take my advice and mould it into something else, something ugly.

Somebody, some chancer, some clever sod, has started up a Twitter account under the name Henry Badd and is now using the account to spout nonsense regarding me, my writing, and my festival. They’re using the account to start fights and fires all over the internet, so that my name is now being associated with some very unsavoury stuff and opinions. Frankly, somebody has set me up as a figure of ridicule. They’ve made me the nonsense-spouting enfant terrible of the literary world, and no less a figure than Twitter’s own Stephen Fry has been answering back, in rather forceful terms. And one of the chief editors at Bloomsbury. And a host of agents.

I shouldn’t be surprised. The ‘literary industry’ here in the UK, is rotten. Palsied. Broken. I am an author. I demand respect. The other day, I performed a book-signing/ reading session at the local independent on Brook Street. Eventually I was forced to stand on a chair and bellow ‘I am an author! I have writ a book, large as life and fucking angry with it!’ No dice.  Or take the local book club. Go on, take it. Shit-faces that they are…

The Book Club meets at the church hall, a place forlornly destitute enough to convince even the hardiest of religious types that their God has abandoned them, that some rough beast has slouched into their town and laid waste to it. Stinks of over-brewed tea and cress and some kind of cleaning product which may or may not be embalming fluid. It’s run by a woman named Dee (Dee for Deidra, she says) and her ‘mob’. They can only be described as a mob too. Fucking set of maniacs they are. They invited me along. They did. With all their gushing down at the shops and their ooooh how lovely it is to have a famous author in our midst.  And then I got there and they were ever so awkward, pretending they’d never even heard of me…

Still, I advised them it would be better for them if they allowed me to perform a reading. Dee for Deidra was an unbelievably fidgety woman. If she wasn’t worrying at her fingernails with her teeth she was flicking her hair or crossing and then uncrossing her legs. Her mob,  those women, they were refugees from the real world. Children, they were. Gasped when I swore. Took on these sour-faces. I say women,  there was one man. He was some kind of hall warden, or else he was the reverend father, but beware this Jabberwork my sons for he is frumious as a bandersnach. All prickles and wisps. When I swore for one final time, he told me I’d need to wind up my speech, and sharpish…

I digress. I went into this den of iniquity, this supposed hall of learning, and  not a one of them appeared to have actually read the book. They seemed unconcerned by my dashing insights into plot structure in the novel and how I set about characterization. Flopping their false teeth about their mouths like slack-jawed moocows – and hell those old bitches would likely call kine, cattle, by the more childish name of moocows, no doubt about it. It is an indubitable fact.

And then at the end, when the Q and As were expected thick and fast as jam, they stutter and stumble and heart murmur amongst themselves and one of them finally, finally deigns to ask me a question and it’s the common or garden ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ And I fix her with those eyes, brimming with fierce intelligence and incorruptible hatred and I say I get them ‘off that internet’, because I can’t be bothered with this any more. Full stop, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred of your English smackeroos.

They set me up with a signing table, but not a queue did develop and after ten minutes some local lads came in as they wanted to use the hall for five a side football.

It’s disheartening, it really is.  Three copies of my novel remain in the newsagents’ window. I thought about tinkering that little bell behind the door and entering, demanding Charlie the newsagent move the books to a more prominent POS (that’s point of sale for those of you aren’t retail gurus or bestselling authors). However it was Mr. Jewson on. Mr. Jewson is one of those retired chaps who need to remain occupied and thusly they are given positions at local establishments, but he is hard of hearing and hard of opinion too, and I know he has taken against me (or as they’d say here, tekken aggin us.)

I am an Olympian, capable of physical and mental feats of strength.  Take me seriously.

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