We keep hearing all this talk about entertainment “franchises” these days. Seems like every time you turn around Vin Diesel is on the telly, telling reporters about his “Fast and Furious” film franchise. Well, I’m here to tell you that when it comes to entertainment franchises, baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
For those of you in the know (and you wouldn’t be reading this blog if you weren’t), my celebrity sidekick bear and handsome co-author Teddy Tedaloo and I are here to announce the publication of the latest installment in OUR franchise: namely The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles.
Now we’re not talking motion pictures (at least not yet, though lucrative film and TV offers are welcome!). But we are talking novels – in this case the second book in our quirky and satiric cosy mystery/crime series – Rotten Peaches (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles). And like that other franchise starring that baritone-voiced bald geezer with a fondness for speeding cars, our book also comes with some high-octane chase scenes!
If you’ve read the first novel Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles), you’ll already be familiar with Thelonious T. Bear, our hapless protagonist from ol’ Blighty. Thelonious is a photojournalist by trade. He also happens to be a small bear. He drives a specially modified Mini Cooper with a Union Jack on the roof, wears a deerstalker hat, loves jazz music and drinks real ale. He even uses cologne (he’s quite meticulous about his personal hygiene).
In this latest installment in the series, Thelonious’s assignment takes him and his camera to the rural American South – or more specifically, Georgia, a state famous for its red clay and Southern hospitality as well as guns, Jesus, dodgy traffic tickets, Confederate flags, pickup trucks and, of course, peaches!
Our ursine “hero” has a knack for running into trouble wherever he goes. This time that trouble arrives courtesy of a gang of bank-robbing little people wearing animal-mask disguises and armed with Tommy Guns. Everyone wants to catch these Dillinger-wannabes, especially a rural sheriff from the sticks and an eager young small-town newspaper reporter. An adventure chock-full of grits and culture shock, Rotten Peaches (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) has enough local flavour to make that fried chicken go down real good, providing you chase it with a great big glass of sweet tea! Crooked cops, fire-and-brimstone preachers, psychotic farmers, stalkers in pickup trucks and reality TV shows, it’s all happening right here. Rotten Peaches will have you hankering for a fried pie in no time.
Working with Teddy has been great so far. At least we haven’t had any artistic flare-ups yet. We’ve been soaking up plenty of local colour while on location writing this novel (just as we did for Normal for Norfolk), but that’s all part of the fun. We want our readers to feel as if they’ve actually been to these places and met the characters just as we ourselves have. You might even call us the “method actors” of literature – we definitely aren’t shy when it comes to immersing ourselves in our art. Just take a look at some of these “on location” photos if you don’t believe me.
So keep an eye out. You never know where we might turn up next! As for Mr. Vin Diesel, big-shot Hollywood movie star, y’all better watch out, because if things go according to plan, Thelonious T. Bear will be coming to your neighbourhood cinema soon!
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Why, lookee here! Even that good ol’ boy Elton John is singing about our book!