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More About the Background of My Novella Sally and Billy in Babyland

Sally and Billy in Babyland is a political satire told in the form of a fable. It also borrows elements from fairy tales. In particular, it borrows the setup of the Grimm fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. In my story, Sally and Billy are two children abandoned in the woods. But beyond that, the story is not like the Grimm fairy tale (plot spoiler: they are not eaten by a witch).
The world that Sally and Billy encounter, Babyland, is cult-like. I live in Michigan and there have been a couple of well-known cults here. So that was somewhere in the back of my mind as I played with the design of this story. The most notorious cult (well, technically, it’s a religion) is arguably what happened on Beaver Island.
What happened on Beaver Island, you ask?
Beaver Island is an island in Lake Michigan. It’s part of the state of Michigan, and in 1848, James Strang, a Mormon who claimed to be Joseph Smith’s successor, moved there and declared it a sovereign country, naming himself the monarch of the country. For quite a few years, he lived just a little bit like a king. It didn’t end well for him.
But once I got the story of Sally and Billy rolling, I didn’t work anymore of those parallels into it. The story began to tell itself as I grew to understand and care about the characters. I even cared about the characters I didn’t like very much (we all have a role to play) but I admit it was a relief to see some of them go.
And I was worried about the welfare of Sally and Billy as well. It’s not easy to be abandoned in the woods. If you survive, it can really build character. But I don’t recommend it.
I mentioned that Sally and Billy in Babyland is a fable and animals play a prominent role in the story. It’s also a satire, so there are some ridiculous elements in it, as well. But I think you’ll agree that, as a satire, you can recognize the truth in the story.
If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.¬†Either way, I hope you’ll let me know.
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My Inspiration For Sally and Billy in Babyland

I have always been a big fan of satire and absurd stories, such as Animal Farm, Alice in Wonderland, and Life of Brian.

Several years ago, I was brainstorming ideas for a story to write. I was attracted to the idea of a story about two kids who end up in a bizarre world. But I couldn’t get progress with the story because I had nothing to drive their journey. All my ideas were about two kids, probably siblings, arguing about how they got here and what are they supposed to do. I had ideas for wacky things to happen, and for wacky people for them to meet.

But I had no story.

As 2016 came to a close, and we elected the new president, I found myself deeply upset. At first I was despondent and didn’t know quite what to do. Then I got busy and became more involved with politics than I ever had been before.

I was motivated because I was worried about my daughter and how women, minorities, and migrants would fare under this new regime. As I tried to find projects to make the world better through politics, helping people directly, and using my talents, I tried to think of something that would use my talent for writing.

At some point I remembered this story I had tried to work on many years ago about two kids who find themselves in a bizarre world. Now I was able to connect the bizarre world I sought for the story with the bizarre world we were living in. And I was able to connect the two kids in the story with my own two children.

My worry for the children in the story parallels my worry for my own children in this world.

I don’t think this story I’ve written will change the world directly. But I do believe that sharing stories about the world in which we live is how we come to a deeper and agreed-upon understanding of the world. And maybe once were all in better agreement, we can do something about.

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Mickey Hadick the Writer

I am a writer based in Michigan, and I like to inject humor into my writing, if you know what I mean.

If I’m not telling stories or telling jokes, I’m probably messing around with a computer or chasing after my college-age kids and their shenanigans.

I was born and raised in Cleveland. Spent some time in Columbus, Detroit, and Philadelphia before landing here in Lansing. I live with my wife and a couple of cats.

And I really, truly, enjoy a good story. I hope you enjoy mine.

Behold, my Amazon author page.

Books

Great Fiction Giveaway Has Ended

giveaway-baroninthetreesThis giveaway will bring great joy to me one day. I love these writers and I love their work. Sharing these books is a good thing.

I haven’t hit the button, yet, to pick the winner. As of right now, all the entrants can still win. That’s the best time in the world, when all is still possible.

I’ll hit that button to pick the winner (randomly) tomorrow, and then verify their email and the other necessary stuff. At the risk of being a tease, I’ll announce the winner later this week.

In the meantime, I’ll send out an email to all the entrants to get my latest book for free. I hope it’s the consolation prize that seems like a gift as great as the grand prize itself. Stories can change your life, and maybe one of my stories will be that story for you. As far as you know, it might be right there, in the book I’ll offer you. All you have to do is read it and find out.