Vincent Crow is the creation of D.C.J Wardle and in his follow-up novel to Trading Vincent Crow, Wardle's character takes his journey of self-improvement to more exotic climes in Vincent Crow: Export. With his Nan in tow Vincent throws himself into the unexplored depths of the Asian business world to to find his latest sense of personal direction and business opportunity.

A seasoned traveller himself D.C.J Wardle's work draws upon his own experiences to develop a hilarious tale of 'trading-up' that all reader seeking their own aspirations will relate to.

Where did the inspiration for the character of Vincent Crow come from?

'Many of us have long days with lots of responsibility and so the chance to step out of that for a while into something totally different and less intense provides a welcome change.'

Vince was born out of the idea of a young guy with no prospects aggressively trading-up his entire life every three months until he got to where he needed to be. He was someone who was at the bottom of the pile and the only way to move was upwards. Vince starts off as a kitchen staff washing-up in a suburban pub, who feels he is under achieving and can't see how to move up the ladder. He comes up with the trading scheme and throws himself into his new life. I did a fair bit of washing-up in pubs as a student and so drew on that experience as a reference point. All of Vince's other quirks veered off from there.

Why did you choose Asia as the backdrop for his second adventure?

I've been living outside of the UK for much of the past fifteen years, and a considerable amount of that period has been spent working in various parts of Asia. Whilst my work has caused me to move around quite a bit, it has also allowed me to be located for several years at a time in a number of different rural towns and provinces where I've had the fortune to get a deeper appreciation of places that I would otherwise never get to see. I've had some amazing opportunities to enjoy and appreciate new locations, experience the culture and make wonderful friends. From this perspective I could see a lot of potential for a clueless Vince to be parachuted in to a completely new culture, have the pleasure of immersing in a very different context to his own for the first time, and the adventures and humour that would bring.

Why do you think that self improvement is so popular?

I think that all people have aspirations. Whether it is to earn a little more, have more family time, be less exhausted at the end of the day, provide better opportunities for their children, a more satisfying job, and so on. However, very often seeing a way forward to fulfil those aspirations can be very difficult. Vincent Crow's approach to self-improvement can be a little extreme at times, but having aspirations and taking action to try and achieve at least part of them is something most of us can relate to.

D.C.J. Wardle's sequel to Trading Vincent Crow

Tell us about your decision to have Vincent's nan accompany him on his trip in the novel.

Some of my favourite parts of Trading Vincent Crow were the conversations, or rather non-conversations, between Vince and his nan. Neither ever listen to what the other is saying, and his nan can be a bit obscure a times. However, despite this total lack of meaningful communication the two of them are actually quite close. So on one hand I think that their semi-dysfunctional relationship is a great element of the story, and on the other his nan's tireless rambling with her inability to hold a chain of thought beyond one sentence are a lot of fun to write.

What drew you to writing humorous novels?

Throughout the travel and working abroad that I have done I've kept diaries of my experiences. Much of that writing was done with a humorous slant rather than a dry account. This was primarily so that I would be entertained by it when I went back to read it later on, but also the humorous side was the part of the writing that I enjoyed. When I started writing fiction, it followed that for me to enjoy the process then it was going to need to be funny (at least to me anyway).

Your last novel got some great reviews, especially for its humour – why do you think the public enjoy this genre, in particular?

I read for escapism. I take my day job very seriously and it can be intense and stressful at times. Therefore, when I get time to switch off from all of that, it can be good to read (or write) something totally different and light-hearted. Many of us have long days with lots of responsibility and so the chance to step out of that for a while into something totally different and less intense provides a welcome change.

What's next for you? Will Vincent continue his adventure of self improvement?

I'm currently working on a novel about a rather unusual heist of a provincial bank, which is providing a fantastic back-drop for some very enjoyable and humorous mishaps. There are of course considerable options for some more Vince in the future. However, I don't want to rush into a third volume just yet. For Vincent Crow: Export I had so many new ideas and fun plots crammed into my head that it was fantastic and enjoyable to be able to get them down and shape them into the story. It was a lot of fun to write. I will now need to wait some time to allow for a similar build-up of creative pressure in my head before Vince can embark on his next adventure.

Vincent Crow: Export is available in the UK from March 28th.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk

Tagged in