Throb! The Making of A Barbarian

Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the origins of Throb and his band of trusty companions. “Throb!” is an adult novel, a comedy, set in a fantasy world. Writing it, I decided to go for more mature content and made it full-on adult.
Steve Dean on His Novel Throb!
Throb Hammerdong the Barbarian

It would, of course, be an adult novel, a comedy, and would be set in a fantasy world. I decided if I was going to go for more mature content I’d go all the way, so to speak, and make it full-on adult.

When Barbarian Throb Hammerdong is drugged and hung from a railway bridge, fate steps in to save him and set him on a life-changing journey. The penniless quarry worker is taken in by a friendly local and his large family, who takes him to a seer. On consulting the Web, it appears Throb was attacked by contract killers hired by his own father. The seer also tells him the two assassins are running a protection racket in the city of Hull. As he sets out to avenge his death, special weapons in hand, his loyal followers appear; mage, fighter, healer, face-man, and florist. Missing only the animal companion, the group march on Hull, and are soon embroiled in criminal activity that goes all the way to the top. With regular sex, a full belly, and companions such as these, Throb must survive attacks by witches and mercenaries to get to the truth, but what he really wants is to finally get into Kissy’s dark and slippery cave of delights. And what happened to the animal companion anyway?

“Throb!” is another of my books, which, like “Wayland Snowball,” started with a name. During a Dungeons and Dragons session, my friends and I were trying to think of a name for his barbarian character. The suggestions started seriously, and then descended more and more into the ridiculous. At some point, I came up with the name Throb Hammerdong. The name was quite amusing, so when I sat down to write a few days later I started to create a world in which a barbarian with that name could live. Inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, I decided to populate my story with characters made similarly, with suitably ‘hilarious’ names, of course. I wanted to give the characters four-dimensional lives, so I started with their abilities and not their personalities. It allowed me to come up with several distinct and, hopefully, believable individuals who have a past as well as a future.

Once I had all the characters, the book was written linearly, starting with the hook and moving on to the chapters, pretty much in order. Some of the scenes already existed, but for the most part, the creation process happened when it needed to. The same was true of subsequent drafts, each change falling neatly into place, although by this stage there were no major alterations.

I didn’t want the world to be too like other fantasy worlds, so it’s low on elves and goblins, the magic is fairly restrained, and there are no magic rings. You might notice the novel is riddled with references to other books, songs, films, etc. some obvious, some more obscure. I always wonder if my readers will ‘get’ them, so I always make sure the plot still makes sense even if they don’t. The same goes for the comedy, and the adult stuff too. I had to make sure there was plenty of action in case some readers didn’t find it funny or erotic.

The thing that took me the most amount of time to create was the non-human companion. I went through all kinds of creatures, real and fantastical, but didn’t think any of them were suitable. When you’re reading the book, you know what the consequences of this were. In the end, I had to decide of course, and again, a nature documentary provided the answer. Have fun reading “Throb!”


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