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Man Writes Post-Apocalyptic Novel Behind Author Wife’s Back: “I Thought He was Playing Video Games”

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No, this isn’t an article from the Onion or the Babylon Bee, but it is a funny story.

First-time author David Shannon was excited to tell his wife, who is an accomplished author herself, that his debut novel was accepted by a leading literary agent.

But the kicker here is that she had no idea that he had even written a book!

Bernardine Evaristo OBE is a Booker Prize winning writer who made history in 2019 as the first Black woman and the first Black Briton to win that esteemed achievement with her eighth novel, Girl, Woman, Other.

Bernardine and David
Photo by Paul Stuart

Bernardine’s accomplishments no doubt helped influence David’s writing as he “tortured” her with endless first drafts, but David was reluctant to let agents know about his famous wife.

“I did think at one point when I kept showing her early versions, ‘She is going to get so sick of the sight of this!'” Davis told the UK’s Dailymail. But Bernardine admitted that she didn’t even realize what he was doing. “I used to think he was watching football or playing computer games in his study. How wrong I was!”

HOWUL CoverDavid’s book is entitled HOWUL: A Life’s Journey and it tells the story of a “socially awkward, self-deprecating character trying to overcome life’s hurdles in flooded, post-apocalyptic north Wales.”

Inspired by his time in pandemic lockdown, David wrote the book as an homage to those characters who may find socialization difficult.

“I am so proud of my husband for writing this extraordinary novel,” Bernardine added. “Which dares to be so different and plunges us into a strange and gripping alternate universe.

“It shows us what can happen to human nature when society’s sophisticated structures and systems are no longer in place and people are left to fend for themselves amid new power dynamics.”

HOWUL: A Life’s Journey is available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon.

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    Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and author of "AI For All," a guide to navigating this strange new world of artificial intelligence.
    He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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