Monday, 2 December 2013

Charles Fudgemuffin, author of the alien comedy 'How To Save the World' books

Charles Fudgemuffin's debut novel 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' is available for Kindle from Amazon:
UK:  How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy
US:  How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy


How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy
is free for the next few days.
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy
by Charles Fudgemuffin

‘Aliens from the planet Fem have decided that as compassionate citizens of the galaxy they have a duty to alleviate suffering and affliction from the rest of the galaxy.

In the majority of cases this will involve sharing their unprecedented prosperity and quality of life with those planets less fortunate than themselves. Of course, in a minority of extreme cases this will also involve eliminating life from those planets in the galaxy where the level of suffering is simply too great to alleviate.

Unfortunately for Earth, the Femlings have deemed us one such planet...’

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An interview with Charles Fudgemuffin…

What is it you love most about writing?
That moment after months or even years of work when you finally finish the final draft of your book.  It’s a powerful combination of a sense of achievement after having invested so much time and effort in the project, mixed with a feeling of freedom at being able to start focusing on your next idea.

Where did the inspiration for your first novel, ‘How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' come from?
The book opens with Eric and his two mates bantering on while hiking up Mount Helvellyn in the Lake District and a few weeks before plotting out the first few chapters I had actually hiked up Helvellyn myself, so that was where the idea must have originated.  Like Eric, I’m also a big fan of the ‘Would You Rather?’ game and the questions he asks in the opening chapter are some of my own favourite ‘Would You Rather?’ dilemmas.  The aliens presumably came out of the alien based dilemma which Eric asks, and then from then on it was a case of a creative domino effect with one idea leading to the next until it had spiralled into a story spanning six books.

Would your book, How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy, work best as a movie or a TV series and why?
A backpacker friend of mine commented that she could picture the book as a movie with a cult following like The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.  Another writer commented in an online review that it was actually more of a screenplay rather than a book, so others seem to picture it as a movie.  However, I have to admit the book contains a lot of dialogue and for that reason I think it would probably be better suited to an ongoing TV series, as there’s probably too much dialogue to fit into a typical ninety minute movie without doing some serious editing and trimming of the plot.

If you could invite one character from the 'How To Save The World' books to a dinner party who would it be and why?
People who have read the books almost unanimously pick out Eric (the main character) as their favourite character by far, but his personality is too similar to mine (or at least a younger version of me) so it would feel a bit weird and awkward having Eric as a dinner guest.  I think it would be quite interesting having one of the alien characters as a dinner guest though, and I especially like Jixyl’s banter in particular, so he would make an entertaining dinner guest.  Well … at least that would be the case if I hadn’t read the books and didn’t know what the aliens were up to…


Are there any good book blogs or websites you would recommend, both for discovering new books and authors, and also for promoting your own work?
One book blog which I like is ‘Review My Book On Amazon’ run by Todd Fonseca.  Todd understands the concept that as a reader you don’t particularly care if the reviewer enjoyed the book or not.  All a reader wants to know is ‘will I enjoy it?’  Todd is excellent at describing a book in a way which allows the reader to assess whether it’s the book for them.  This is the link to his site:

…and whether you’re a reader or an author I would recommend checking it out.

Do you foresee more and more authors making a living from their writing?
Looking at the various sales graphs for worldwide sales by indie authors, it looks clear that the indie book market is on an upward curve at the moment and this looks likely to continue for a few years yet, as more and more people buy ebook readers.  It’s only going to be a very small percentage of writers that make a living from it though, but for any unpublished author considering releasing their work to the world, this is the perfect time.  Even if you only get a few sales it’s a brilliant experience and an amazing buzz every time you check your account and see another sale.

Have you ever found that a fan has e-mailed you with a glowing comment on one of your books, but then when they write a review this praise has been toned down into a more professional less emotional review style and has lost some of its power as a result?
Yes, I had an e-mail from someone once who told me he was reading my book at work (on the sly) and was laughing out loud until it got to the stage where people were starting to ask what he was laughing at, so he had to stop reading it otherwise he might have got into trouble.  When he posted a review though, although it was still a complimentary review he had nevertheless toned down the enthusiasm of his comments to make them sound more professional.

Would you rather have great reviews but average sales or great sales but average reviews?
I love it when someone responds to my writing with positive enthusiasm so a part of me is tempted to go for ‘great reviews,’ but on the other hand I’d love to be able to write full time for a living.  It’s hard to choose one over the other as I have to admit I get an equally lush buzz every time I sell a book as I do every time I get some positive feedback.

How To Save The World:
Part 3B - Revenge And Justice
The penultimate book in the
'How To Save The World' saga.
What other book would you regard it the biggest compliment to have your own books compared to and why?
When a backpacker friend compared the 'How To Save The World' books to The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy I regarded that as a big compliment as I love the uniqueness and wonderful weirdness of Douglas Adams’ books.  However, I think the comparison was more based on the fact that they both share a space-based theme and setting, rather than a comparison of the style of writing.  A lot of the humour in the 'How To Save The World' books is closer to the crude immature style of The Inbetweeners or Keith Lemon rather than The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, so any Douglas Adams fans would be a bit shocked if they were expecting a similar style of writing. 

I also had a review describing How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy as ‘Monty Python meets Saturday Night Live’ which again I regarded as a massive compliment.  I absolutely love Monty Python, and while I haven’t seen much of Saturday Night Live, from what I have seen it seems like the sort of humour I would enjoy.

Overall though, I would say the 'How To Save The World' saga is hard to make comparisons with as it has its own uniqueness to it.  On some occasions I’ve been met with unrestrained enthusiasm from readers and on other occasions they clearly didn’t get it, so the best suggestion is to download the free sample of the first few chapters from Amazon.  If you enjoy that you’ll probably enjoy the rest of the series.

Who do you see as your target audience?
One of my first readers commented that the opening book, How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy, would appeal to people who don’t usually read books (they themselves weren’t massive readers) and I would probably agree with them.  Admittedly, that’s not the greatest marketing strategy ever devised (a bit like designing a car that appeals to people who don’t buy cars), but hopefully my books might also appeal to other target audiences as well.  I would say anyone with a daft sense of humour who enjoys light-hearted comedy and who isn’t expecting Shakespeare might find them enjoyable.  I include this word of caution, though:

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books are suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.’

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Thanks for your comments, Charles, and good luck with your writing.

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Samples from How To Save the World: An Alien Comedy:

      “Look, man.  Calm down, you daft fool.  I promise you, man … we’ve got no intentions of doing an anal probe on you.  Why would we fly halfway across the galaxy to visit a different civilisation, and then when we get here, like, we go, ‘Hmm, how shall we interact with this new civilisation?  I know!  We’ll stick things up their bum!’  You’re proper mental, you, man.”

      "It just seems a bit inconsiderate on their feelings.  I mean, like, normally when you snog a lass she assumes it's because you find her physically attractive, but if she realised you were only snogging her as part of a plan to kill her entire species she'd probably feel a bit huffed."

      "Ar, well, I mean I'm obviously tempted, like.  I mean, I'm tempted to save the world ... not the spanking stuff, obviously ... just saving the world.  I mean I would obviously get involved in a bit of spanking if it meant saving the world, like.  But just to save the world ... not for anything else."

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Charles Fudgemuffin, author of How To
Save The World: An Alien Comedy.
Charles Fudgemuffin has a blog where he occasionally mentions his books and also discusses other random daft subjects:
Charles Fudgemuffin Blog

Recent blog posts include:
10 Cool Swedish Words And Expressions 
The Harder The Journey, The More Rewarding The Arrival
And The Award For The Most Stupid Question Ever Goes To...

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Check out a video trailer for 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' featuring Eric and Jixyl The Alien as they discuss anal probes:
Eric and Jixyl The Alien from 'How To Save The World' discuss anal probes

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Follow Charles Fudgemuffin on twitter and facebook.
Twitter: @CFudgemuffin
Facebook: CharlesFudgemuffin
Facebook: AlienComedy

Charles follows back other authors or publishing related accounts.  Please feel free to post a link to your facebook page on his wall if you’d like a return ‘like’.  He generally checks his facebook and twitter account every couple of days.

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Charles Fudgemuffin's debut novel 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' is available for Kindle from and
US:  How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

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