Interview with D.C.J. Wardle, author of ‘Trading Vincent Crow’

Trading Vincent Crow reduced size ABOUT TRADING VINCENT CROW

Vince Crow had heard somewhere that you could trade a piece of useless junk on the internet and within a year of swapping it for better and better things you could get cool stuff. Crow decided that he himself was going to start off as that piece of tat, jump from one job to the next; indeed he would trade one lifestyle for a new one, until he was finally a success. Every three months he would have to trade-up for an entirely new life – new job, new girl, new wheels, new pad, new threads – until he reached the top.

The plan of comparing himself to a used item traded over the internet was of course marginally flawed, as there is a human factor to all of this which he’d over-looked. Besides, success isn’t just about work. It’s about the car, the clothes, the house, and getting the girl, so changing all of that with every new trade upwards is a lot more difficult than swapping an old stereo in the classifieds. Crow quickly learns what the price of success really is. An education he would never have got if he had gone to college.

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How did you come up with the title of your book?

The broad idea of the book ‘Trading Vincent Crow’ relates to a man in America who swapped a paperclip on e-bay and after many more swaps he eventually got himself a house. This idea was taken to the extreme, that the main character has to trade his entire life every 3 months until he gets to where he needs to be. The book is quite episodic, as each trade-up is in a different place with different interactions and characters. The title evolved from this twist on the idea of ‘trading’.

What is your writing environment like?

I currently write on my laptop sitting at a coffee table. The environment varies from listening quietly to the occasional sparrow tweeting in the tree outside the window, to enduring the construction team bulldozing the road at the front of the house for the umpteen time, Leonard the cat arriving with some wildlife from the garden, or next door having a three-day long karaoke party. I tend to give up if (a) Leonard has found yet another snake; or (b) the Karaoke is so out of tune even Len has abandoned snake hunting and is hiding behind the sofa.

What is your favorite quote?  Why?

“He’s not in today. ……he’s dead!” Is a favourite line I often quote from my nan who was doing her best to assist a door-to-door sales woman who had just left, and was trying the next house along the terrace.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

A long time ago, when I worked behind the bar of a pub, my boss during that brief time told me that I wasn’t as funny as I thought I was, and that in fact nothing I said was ever funny. That’s stuck with me all these years, and I am hoping to prove him wrong with ‘Trading Vincent Crow’, at least a bit anyway. In the book, Vince starts off as a washer-upper in a suburban pub. My own formative years saw me employed part time in a number of different pub kitchens devoting my evenings to the contents of industrial-sized sinks and so this is an experience I’ve drawn on for that part of the plot.

What inspires you to write?

I discovered my passion for creative writing whilst living in a small village in Cameroon. It was my first overseas posting and I was a lone volunteer managing the construction of a water supply project. The village was remote. There was no TV, telephone, or electricity. However, the aging chief was also the head witch doctor for the area, and in the first week I’d attended a couple of traditional ceremonies involving the ancestors, witch doctors and a number of unfortunate goats. For the first time in my life, I had a lot to write about, and began to really enjoy sending letters home about my adventures. I then decided to write a short story about the rock band that I had played in at college.  I wrote it on scraps of paper, and found myself cutting out paragraphs from different pages and sticking them at the sides of others with duct-tape. The resulting collage of scribbling needed instructions to negotiate. After discovering the pleasures of this creative process I went on to write longer stories about my adventures in Cameroon and the subsequent places I’ve worked. This has since inspired me to write novels.

What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

My big challenge at the moment is finding the time to write. I currently have a very hectic day job and so if I’m lucky I might find one morning at the weekend to sit down and work on a book. However, right now I see this as a positive thing as it means I am not under pressure each day to sit down, stare at my laptop and overcome writer’s block. Often ideas will come to me during the course of the week, and at the weekend I may find time to get down a few paragraphs that I’m most eager not to forget or I think will make a strong contribution. Often this produces fairly concise, self-contained but multi-faceted elements to the story which I feel help to make it more of a page-turner. Unfortunately, this approach does mean it takes me a long time to finish writing a book.

Did you learn anything while writing this book?  If so, what was it?

I learned a little bit about Mexican revolutionaries. One of the characters is a fan of Emiliano Zapata so I had to read up on him. I also learned a bit more than most about the ground beetles indigenous to the British Isles. I needed something unique to a part of Britain that an obscure scientist would be studying, and eventually came across the Snowdon rainbow beetle. All of the horses at the pony trekking stables of the scientist’s wife were then named after different types of beetle, so I did end up in hours of ground beetle-related contemplation that might otherwise have passed me by.

What have you done to promote this book?

The publishing company, Matador, have sent out a press release and sample copies for review. I have also had a podcast made with extracts from the book. . In addition I am taking part in a virtual book tour with

What are some of the best tools available today for writers?

Having done my first writing on scraps of paper sellotaped together, I am very much able to appreciate the laptop, much as it has now become an everyday object. Also, the internet has been invaluable for research. After that I happily tap away at a word document until a book starts to form.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

‘Trading Vincent Crow’ is a book for anyone who has ever worked in a frustrating job, with unsociable hours, on a minimum hourly rate, and dreamed of there being something more to life. It’s also for anyone who’s realised they are actually just a cog in someone else’s world and aspirations, rather than living for their own.

In more practical terms, it’s a wonderful distraction for someone about to embark on a long-haul flight, or for someone who has just found out upon reaching the airport that their flight has been delayed by several hours. The time will whiz by. Mostly though, it’s for anyone who wants to escape for a while into a world where you can enjoy the delights of some other poor sod trying to keep their head above water for a change, rather than doing it yourself.

I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


D. C. J. Wardle holds post graduate qualifications in development management as well as community water supply engineering. Over the past twelve years he has worked extensively in developing countries in Africa and Asia, managing emergency and development programmes. You can visit D.C.J. Wardle’s website at:

His latest book is Trading Vincent Crow.



Trading Vincent Crow Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, July 1 – Book featured at Naturally Kim B

Tuesday, July 2 – Guest blogging at Janna Shay

Wednesday, July 3 – First chapter reveal at Parenting 2.0

Thursday, July 4 – Guest blogging and First chapter reveal at My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, July 5 – First chapter reveal at Miki’s Hope

Friday, July 12 – Book reviewed at Naturally Kim B

Monday, July 15 – Interviewed at Broowaha

Wednesday, July 17 – Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Friday, July 19 – Book featured at I’m Shelf-ish

Monday, July 22 – Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

Tuesday, July 23 – Interviewed at Review From Here

Wednesday, July 24 – Guest blogging at Straight from the Authors Mouth

Thursday, July 25 – Interviewed at Examiner

Friday, July 26 – Book reviewed at Quilted Reviews


Pump Up Your Book

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