Indie Review: The Goddess of Pigland

The Goddess of PiglandNot for the faint hearted!

Imagine Monty Python, extra spicy with some classical mythology tossed in; stir in a helping of soft porn and you will have a good idea of the rowdy antics The Goddess of Pigland will provide you.

Original writing sparks with off color wit and alliteration.  The book looks like Dr. Suess may have had a hand in it, and a suessical sense of whimsy wanders through the story line alongside a plethora of pigs, but it is not a tale for children.

I enjoyed this book, it was a fanciful tale that reeked (sometimes literally) with humor, and hints towards more raucous adventure in store for Forenk and his heavenly companions.  The illustrations are well done and look good in the kindle format.  I look forward to seeing what happens next – the pleasure has been all swine ;p

The author, Mario Zecca, has agreed to answer a few questions about his tale of divine debauchery and perhaps give us a few hints as to what we can expect next in this tantalizing tale:

Mario, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Can you tell us, what was the inspiration for The Goddess of Pigland?

Mario:  I don’t think there was a decisive moment, a single spark of inspiration. The background, that is the Pigland setting, was just sort of there, sort of an effortless projection. Maybe it was a metaphorical reflection of the sweat, insect and sour illness reality that we live in. I wanted it to feel real, be about the real inner life, the usually unshared feelings.  The story line is a variation of the heroes journey. I had been interested in mythology from my first years of reading and had recently been through some of Joseph Campbell’s work. I was deeply impressed by the story of Theseus and also the similarities in many mythic story arcs. For instance Theseus and King Arthur both get their weapons from under or out of a stone or rocks, lead their people to over throw aggressors or oppressors, and have the son or best friend betray them with their loved ones.  That being said, I also wanted to express the joy and relief of humor. The first years of writing the novel were mostly just fun for me, I literally would be cracking myself up while writing. It was self amusing. The work and countless editing came later. The book that made me laugh out loud when I read it in my 20s was Bored of the Rings, by the Harvard Lampoon. The image of hobbits in alpine hats mugging small furry animals seemed very novel at the time. Although the book did not hold up for long, it was a ground breaker for me. I have to give a nod to Terry Pratchett’s early work, although I felt he was holding back and needed an injection of Phillip Jose Farmer, a writer who helped bring human and alien sexuality to science fiction and fantasy.  I had many years of world building under my belt from designing a fantasy world as a setting for my table-top miniature RPGing (Role Playing Gaming). I worked on that constantly for maybe 20 years.  So I had the context there, Pigland is set in that world. The details of the story evolved slowly once I visualized the basic setting.

You did your own illustrations for this book, are you also an artist?

Mario:  I am, and have worked as an illustrator and artist throughout my life.

You mention in the Amazon description that this tale is partly autobiographical.  How does the character of Forenk relate to you?

Mario:  Forenk’s story is a distorted version of my own experiences. More symbolic than literal. His relationship with his mother, his odyssey and amorous adventures. You will have to wait for my tell-all autobiography to make a more incisive comparison.

What can we expect next in this tale, any spoilers?

Mario:  One thing I strove to avoid was using cliches and I would wait until I could invent new twists to story devices, so the reader, hopefully, will not know what to expect. Forenk’s mission and the reasons for his predicament become clearer, he makes new allies and enemies and travels widely to free himself of his bad luck.   In general the tone of the story becomes more complex and the characters develop. There is some gritty violence and I think even a bit of horror. However, the story consistently returns to humor and while writing I strove to avoid the ridiculous chapter-adding complications that frustrated me as a reader. I wrote The Goddess of Pigland over a twelve year period, writing only when I had something to write about.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at spaceandtime.net
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