Karl Wiggins - Author, humourist and raconteur
My goal, my life's ambition if you like, is to give direction to comedy, purpose to satire. And this is probably why I write the way I do, in order to use self-deprecating, piss-taking humour to bring to the fore situations that just don't stack up. To demonstrate that serious issues can be approached with humour.
Embarrassingly, a number of the reviews for my books seem to involve people losing control of their bladder; "Anyone who is a bit saucy, very fond of boobies and doesn't mind peeing slightly when they laugh too hard, this is the book for you!" "Best not to read this book on the train if you have a full bladder because by the end of your journey you will have a damp patch in an embarrassing place." "I have to admit that I wet myself twice while reading it but this may in part have been due to my age and a couple of bottles of a fine St. Emilion," "Due to the laughter you owe my secretary one clean pair of knickers."
Two reviewers have even suggested I should tour as a stand-up comedian; "I found myself laughing out-loud and even sharing segments with my spouse ..... I think Karl could tour as a stand-up comedian," "Mr Wiggins has views on life that are expressed in a manner worthy of any stand-up comedian."
So my scribblings do seem to raise a smile and a chuckle, and either way you look at it, that has to be a good thing. Hardly any subject is taboo to the Englishman when he's laughing, and this often seems insensitive to other cultures, but the bedrock of the British sense of humour is a strong sense of sarcasm and self-deprecation. The British can be very passionate - and if you doubt that try going to a football match - but that passion is often hidden deep in our humour so that other nationals often fail to recognise the deadpan delivery and are never too sure if they've been involved in a serious conversation or just a little bit of friendly banter.
Having said that my style of writing is now appealing more and more to the American market, and I write a regular column for a newsletter in Copiague, Long Island, New York. I'm really enjoying connecting with the people over there.
Interestingly enough, my writing style has been compared to two people, both now dead, Charles Bukowski and Socrates. Their names keep popping up in reviews; "Mr Bukowski, meet Socrates. This is an exceptionally amusing collection of observations of daily life," "The prose style reminded me quite a lot of Charles Bukowski's short essays and observations," "It reminded me a lot of Bukowski's novels, but particularly Factotum and Post Office," "Had me laughing out loud several times, which doesn't happen often to me. It reminded me a lot of Bukowski's novels," (I swear those are two completely separate reviewers), "Karl Wiggins is like a contemporary Socrates."
I'm sure both Socrates and Charles Bukowski would turn in their graves. But then again, maybe not.
I currently have seven books on Amazon;
'You Really Are Full of Shit, Aren't You?' I know full well you've read these Agony Aunt or Advice Columns in newspapers or magazines you've found lying about in the dentist's or doctor's waiting room, and like me you've probably wanted to jump into the page, grab the whining git by the ears and shout, "Listen to yourself, will you? You need to sort yourself out!"
Or alternatively, you've got so sick of the patronising, condescending advice puked up by these so-called experts in their field that you've longed for someone to come along who takes no crap! Well that's me. I cut them no slack whatsoever. Just have a taster of this book and I'm sure you'll want to read more.
'Dogshit Saved my Life' is another of my books. Now I'm the first to admit that it might not be to everyone's taste, but I received fantastic reviews from my book 'Calico Jack in your Garden' and 'Dogshit' follows along the same lines.
'Shit my History Teacher DID NOT tell me' kind of speaks for itself I guess, as does 'Grit - The Banter & Brutality of the Late0Night Cab Driver.' which I describe as British Grit-Lit.
'Words are our Sorcery,' however is totally different to anything else I've ever written. There's some poetry and for the foodies amongst you I've also taken an interest in the parallel lives of the writer and the chef. How the chef creates his magic in the chaotic environment of the kitchen compares well to how writers create their hocus-pocus in the peace and quiet of the study. A chef's wizardry is in his ingredients, whilst a writer's sorcery is in his words. I've taken an alternate view of religions and I've finished the book with some fatherhood stories that I hope will bring a tear to you eye.
And with the help of several other authors, I've also published a book on self-publishing. It's called 'Self-Publishing! In the Eye of the Storm!' My objectives with this book are a) to demonstrate to those just about to publish their first book the amount of work they should expect to put in afterwards, b) to perhaps offer direction, to advise on what works and what doesn't, and, I guess c) to establish for the reader just how hard authors have to graft to promote their work, which is why I've included pieces from various authors, who all deserve my recognition and gratitude for demonstrating their often contradictory points of view. What worked for some, bombed when fellow authors tried the same tack, so it's crucial that I'm true to myself and present the Indie industry in a genuinely transparent form.
I love to hear from readers, whether your views are positive or even if you've hated my books. Please contact me here or on Twitter at @hobokarl to let me know how you enjoyed the writing or just to shoot the breeze.
I ALWAYS make every effort to reply back to everyone.