Humour plus some bulldust makes the write stuff
"ACCIDENT-prone from the age of three" hyperactive Twyford Headley is the latest bungling protagonist from the comic pen of retired Grafton High School teacher Jim Mannell.
"Twy" is the star of Dropping the Sausage, Mr Mannell's second book in a year, and follows the success of the autobiographical tour de farce A Chalkie of the State, released in March 2013.
A sufferer of the dreaded Crazed Weasel Syndrome, Twy becomes a father almost before he becomes a lover and then blunders from marriage to divorce and mishap to misadventure at work, on the sporting field, in the bedroom, on holiday and on the road (a mere 14 crashes in 16 years).
As he continues to slide down the razor blade of life, Twy holds it all together despite migraines, haemorrhoids, spinal damage, obstructive sleep apnoea and the sporadic attentions of the wilful Midnight Skulker.
But it all turns out in the end - sort of.
Being a prolific journal-keeper since 1972 allowed Mr Mannell to accumulate hectares of raw material on which to cultivate his humorous writings, with just a light top-dressing of bulldust to protect the names of the innocent.
"I've always tended to write stuff by hand," the former English, French, German and Italian teacher said.
"I like to get a 3-4-page resume of each chapter down by pen and then I thrash it out on the computer with the classic three-finger peck technique."
With Dropping the Sausage out of the way, Mr Mannell is clearing the way for his next publication, a work of serious fiction he wrote some years ago.
He expects it to be published soon.
Serious fiction? Possibly.
But anyone whose home phone message bank tells the caller they have reached the "Clarence Valley Dead Donkey Recycling Company" can't be that serious.
Get the book
Dropping the Sausage is printed by Zeus Publications, RRP $29.95, ebook $9.
See www.jamesmannell .com for more info.
Buy it from James by phoning 0434 545 180 or email james firstname.lastname@example.org.