Friday, January 31, 2014

Character #3— Ludwig van Bathoven

Having done three (and soon, four) books about bats, there's an assumption that I live in a world of bats—that I'm a bat expert, that they're my favorite animal, etc.  That's not really true.

Although I've been fascinated with them since I was a boy, watching them fly over our backyard during long summer evenings, the real thing about doing the bat books is that I enjoy spending time imagining a night-time world in which the things we humans do is turned upside down.  The bats are a great blank canvas of characters through which to look at human activities in a different way.

One odd thing about being associated with bats is that everyone wants to offer up a bat joke, or more often, a bat pun (and most of them are excruciatingly bat. ——See what I mean?).  One guy who has cropped up again and again in jokes since Bats at the Beach was published in 2006 is Ludwig van Bathoven.

When I was working on Bats in the Band (coming in August), I thought Ludwig was going have a large presence in the story.  But somehow he never made it into the final cut.  I figure he's got to be seen at some time, and as we begin to gear up for the launch of the book, it might as well be now.

So here's Ludwig van Bathoven, a tortured musical soul.
Most who knew Bathoven were familiar with his foul moods—but very few knew that his volatile outbursts
came from frustration at only being able to play two notes at once.