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David Bush
David Bush Author Interview

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack is a collection of short stories following a boy who dons a costume and helps others in his neighborhood. What was the inspiration for the idea behind Whizzojack?

I have read many Spiderman stories to my five year old great-nephew, Jack. He always surprised me by countering my stories with stories of his own, He created the characters and their names. He also instructed me on how to draw these characters. These were the sketches which I then submitted to the illustrators. The basic ideas of the novel are his. Jack and I together created the stories, while I filled in the more high flown details. Jack, who could neither read nor write, built the skeleton of the story, I added flesh and all the rest to it. That, in short, describes the anatomy of the book. Jack is the main protagonist of the novel as Whizzojack. He emulates his superhero and believes himself to be a force for good in the neighbourhood, constantly flitting to the various flashpoints of the city, trying to help out where he could.

Whizzojack is a fun and imaginative character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

In a sense, the book is autobiographical. We called our parents Pa Tony and Ma Mollie. My father was a senior civil servant, an economist, statistician, auditor general and a university professor. My mother was a pharmacist. The main superpower that Whizzojack thinks he has is his moral formation and common sense, fruits of a good upbringing. The stories also reflects the character of the real life character, Jack. His imagination, good nature, last but not least his willingness to learn and help. This book is as much a tribute to my own parents as it is to the innocence and initiative of Jack. In real life, Jack has a curious, inquisitive mind, constantly seeking new experiences and conducting experiments be it in the garden, the bath or wherever. That too, is incorporated in the story.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

In the last decade, the Mediterranean Sea has become a dangerous throughfare for refugees fleeing war-torn countries on rickety boats. What I find striking is the utter disdain and indifference of the authorities in the refugees’ regard, no doubt acting on behalf of the assenting public. This translates into the refusal of various countries to take on the responsibility of search and rescue operations. Once the migrants are reluctantly admitted into the country, they are vilified and stigmatised as agents of disease and crime, who can never integrate. Essentially, at worse they are treated as criminals, at best as undesirable intruders. Sometimes they are even dehumanized. Despite the palpable hostility, they are shamelessly exploited by employers thriving in the black economy. Though the authorities are aware, they turn a blind eye to the abuses. The employers fiercely and openly protect their right to utilize these underpaid, nonunionized workers in menial jobs under degrading conditions knowing full well that the authorities will not enforce legislation. If anything, the politicians whip up the xenophobia of the masses to win votes at election time. Although some of the migrants behave badly, which only serves to fan the racial prejudice, they live in abominable conditions at times suitable for animals. Unless they prove themselves useful, they are dismissed as an unwelcome subhuman nuisance to progressive society. The authorities seem to have an interest to keep the migrants’ living conditions suboptimal to act firstly as a deterrent for other refugees who may be considering the voyage and secondly to tacitly coerce the immigrants into leaving of their own volition.

This story is an allegory about people who are different to us. It deals with racism and immigration as seen through the eyes of a young boy. Whether, the immigrant behave badly or not, he empathizes with them and tries to help them integrate despite the rampant popular prejudice. This is all about respect and tolerance for the disadvantaged minorities and about having strong principles despite the fickleness of the masses.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Being a practicing doctor, it hasn’t been easy to write. I dedicated two hours in the early morning before going to hospital to writing two novels. At the moment, I’m concentrating on the promotion and marketing of the two books which is quite a handful for a novice and self-publisher at that. I have many ideas for writing new historical novels. I’ll let the ideas germinate for a few more years, and in six years’ time when I retire, I should have plenty of time to take up the writing pen again.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

This book chronicles the adventures of an eight year old boy who admires the comic strip superheroes. He fancies himself a superhero. He calls himself Whizzojack and goes into action after donning a whizzojack costume which gives him “special” powers. He uses these powers to help others. Does he make matters worse? Whizzojack interacts delightfully with thirty eight colourful villains. The results of these relationships are comic, poignant and unpredictable. They have unexpected effects on the wellbeing of the fictional city, Jacktown.
Spiderman juggles with Aesop in this 21st century Parable of the Talents.

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack by [David Bush, Jack Zarb Adami]

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack by Jack Zarb Adami and David Bush, is a collection of short stories containing thirty-five unique characters. Each story reflects difficult situations the main characters are caught up in where Whizzojack comes to the rescue and ends up saving the day as best he can, while at the same time helping his town flourish. As stated in the foreword, the characters are meant to represent immigrants trying to find their place in a town, and does this well.

The imagination behind these stories is fantastic and the authors have done wonders in how they divide and tell each story. Written in easy to follow terms, you get a real sense of the creative mind that created this world, and the way the situations are described throughout which were added by the authors, add to the overall appeal and charm of how each story is told.

Immigration is a sensitive theme to have running throughout the short chapters, and I think in the majority of the stories this has been handled well howeveris some stories such as ‘Stiltman’ or ‘The Can Man’ they are portrayed as the villains because they are different. The characterization of the town, which is overall very engaging, is also shown to have corruption as suggested in a few stories such as ‘The Lineman’.

I enjoyed the aspect of recurring secondary characters like ‘Ma Mollie’ who I felt kept tying each story together. Furthermore, the illustrations created to accompany the plots in each chapter were wonderful and really help the reader to visualize the story. I think these stories would do well as a series of children’s books, especially due to the underlying educational tone of how people should be treated, even if they are different.

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack is a charming children’s story that teaches life lessons while also using some unique creativity to keep things consistently fun throughout this adventurous collection of entertaining kids stories.

Pages: 169 | ASIN: B09514222J

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