Tim Cowen has been living in Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town (in Dumfries and Galloway) since February 2021.
A creator of veggie feasts and friend of the beasts, he is longstanding campaigner on environment and social justice.
Banquet of the Beasts is his debut novel.
ORIGINS OF THE BOOK
I first thought about writing a novel after the disappointing outcome of the Scottish independence referendum of 2014. Prior to this I had dabbled in performance poetry and stand-up comedy. Over the years I’d grown frustrated at how much effort was involved in writing material that would be performed just once or twice. I wanted the challenge of writing a longer piece, something that would live on the page, rather than disappear into the ether.
The origins of this book come from a sketch that I wrote in 2013 for an evening class in stand-up comedy. This saw me combine the impacts of austerity, the badger cull and the imaginary death of George Osborne. With humans failing so miserably to stand up to the Tories, it was left to the beasts to resist.
In November 2015 I attended a course in Comic Novel Writing at Moniack Mhor (Scotland’s creative writing centre). It was here that the ideas for Banquet of the Beasts began to emerge and I replaced Osborne with Margaret Thatcher; she is, after all, much more of a timeless baddie.
To the birds and beasts that are my friends and constant companions – I salute you all!
A special mention going to the starlings, badgers, weasels and foxes. For many years you’ve lived in my head, and it’s great to see you at last on the page.
And finally to Maggie. Your comments, ideas, feedback and thoughts are a constant encouragement to me. Without you I would be lost and this novel would not exist. You remain my biggest love and inspiration.