Twenty-five stories cover a variety of genres and tones; author
By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 No. 15 (July 25, 2019)
Tracey Waddleton says if you read a story from her short story collection Send More Tourists… The Last Ones Were Delicious and aren’t particularly fond of it, that’s okay; just read another one, you’ll probably like that one.
She told the Irish Loop Post that this is because the 25 stories in her debut publication vary so much in tone and subject.
“There’s some Newfoundland stories, there’s some, kind of surreal, strange stories… they’re all quite different,” said Waddleton. “It’s unusual. It runs a gambit. There’s a bank heist story, there’s a couple of sex scenes in there, there’s darker things of Newfoundland culture. Everybody will probably find a couple of stories at least that they will attach to.”
The book’s jacket blurb promises stories about tarot card predictions, small town crime, literary sex play, and dismembered saints.
It’s definitely a work for adult audience.
“It’s a bit edgy,” Waddleton admits. “It pushes the envelop a little. Maybe it’ll be a little shocking for some people. It’s sharp, and realistic. But funny in places as well.”
Waddleton posits that success as a writer comes in accepting that not all of your work can be your best work.
“I write a lot of bad stuff, and sometimes beautiful stuff comes out. Or marginally good stuff comes out,” she laughed. “I write for days and days and days and I write five bad stories, but I might get one good story. You need to learn how to fail. You have to get past the bad things you produce and keep going. Its about learning that you’re going to produce bad stuff, and being okay with that, and not being ashamed to push though. I think that’s the key.”
The method seems to work for Waddleton; the book has already received praise from Newfoundland author Joel Thomas Hynes, author of the Governor General Award winning We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night, amongst other authors.
Waddleton noted that the unique title isn’t unique to her.
Instead, it’s a common expression found in tourist trap giftshops.
She saw the expression on a mug featuring a shark wearing a bloody grin while traveling some years back, and the expression stuck with her.
A similar mug makes an appearance in the title story.
“Every time I would hear that expression it would make me laugh. And I thought it would be a fun way to sum everything up,” she said.
With the writing, editing, and publication done and dusted, the book will be launched at Broken Books in St. Johns this week.
Waddleton said it’s a surreal time.
“It’s strange that this thing I wrote in my house is this perfect little book that will be on a shelf somewhere,” she admitted. “It’s difficult to process.”
About how she feels, Waddleton joked to ask her again in two or three weeks time, when things seem a bit more real.