If you’ve ever read Adrian Phoenix’s Makers Song or Hoodoo urban fantasy series, then you know she knows how to bring serious high drama in a major way. But with the release of her eighth title from Pocket, we get to see her in a more whimsical light. And apparently the type of humor that surrounds Hal Rupert, Animal Control Officer Extraordinaire, and his dream girl, Desdemona Cohen, has its roots in her childhood… 

When I was a teen, my father would create hilarious stories for my sister and I—spoofs of movies and TV shows—written in black felt tip pen on yellow legal tablets in a screenplay format. We both looked forward to these stories, especially the continuing series about Combat! (starring Vic Morrow), a show we loved and one our father so skillfully mocked. We would laugh until we cried, then we would share the stories with friends, who also quickly came to look forward to each and every yellow page.

pw quoteIn the spoof he did of Jaws—called Beak (about a twenty thousand pound Cornish game hen terrorizing the countryside)—the screenplay noted that the title should be done in varying shapes of bird beaks. That detail cracked me up because it was so wonderfully absurd—and I could imagine some earnest director like Ed Wood doing exactly that.

Not only did I learn a love for the absurd from my father, I learned to love the underdog. Whenever I watched football with him, I would ask which team we were rooting for and he would always reply, “Whoever’s the underdog.” We didn’t get to celebrate wins very often. LOL.

I love stories about the geek or nerd or delusional dweeb who actually turns out to be someone special or who possesses special skills that make everyone else’s jaws drop. Ace Ventura, Pet Detective was one of those stories. Ace was definitely suffering from delusions of grandeur, but I was thrilled and happy when it turned out he was also a damned fine detective. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (starring Jay Baruchel and Nicholas Cage—don’t think about the combination, just trust me) is another such tale—one I love. If you haven’t watched it, do.

Thinning the Herd celebrates delusion, reality-denial, and heroism despite the rather long odds. I’m still rooting for the underdog—especially the absurd underdog. I hope you enjoy reading Thinning the Herd as much as I enjoyed writing it.