Alice works for Jaffle Tech incorporated, the world’s biggest technology company and the creator of the Jaffle Port, the brain implant that gives users direct access to global communications, social networks and every knowledge source on the planet.
Alice is on Jaffle Standard, the free service offered to all people. All she has to do in return is let Jaffle use a bit of her brain’s processing power. Maybe it’s being used to control satellites. Maybe it’s being used to further space exploration. Maybe it’s helping control self-driving cars on the freeway. Her brain is helping Jaffle help the world. And Jaffle are only using the bits of her brain she doesn’t need…
But when a kind deed goes wrong, Alice gains unauthorised access to her entire brain and discovers what she has been missing out on her entire life: music, art, laughter, love…
Now that she has discovered what her mind is truly capable of, how long will the company bosses let her keep it?
How did we come to write Jaffle Inc?
Iain and I have been writing together since 2011. We’ve co-created more than 20 novels and novellas, and we’ve come up with concepts for our stories in every imaginable way.
While there’s generally nothing duller than someone telling you about their dream, we have recognised that from time to time a dream can spark a great concept for a novel. We’ve written a few novels now that began as a dream, and Jaffle Inc was one of them.
The dream that I had was set in a world where it was accepted that people could rent out some of their brains in exchange for benefits (financial or otherwise). The anxiety that I felt when I woke up made me realise that the idea really terrified me, partially because it signified a loss of control, but also because it seemed so very plausible.
Iain was also seized with the idea when I described it to him. He was drawn to the very real notion that we freely give away personal data every time we go on social media and the fact that our emotional lives are increasingly lived on-line rather than in face-to-face social situations. We spent some time discussing plot ideas that would work in this world. What if people had lost or willingly surrendered some of the wonderful aspects of human lives in exchange for a simpler, cleaner, more understandable on-line life? In Save the Cat, the famous screenwriting book by Blake Snyder, there is an assertion that a main character should ideally face challenges that would be recognisable to a caveman. In other words, while we might feel some empathy for a character who has lost her favourite hat or broken her iphone, to make a really powerful story, the stakes must be higher. A character that is in danger of losing her life or her home is much more likely to grip us.
We realised that we needed to take a character on a journey to face these challenges, but to begin with, the character must also realise how much more there is to be lost. If a character spends a lifetime not understanding the value of music, love and laughter, how much worse it would be to glimpse the joy that they can bring before having it threatened! Can you remember those moments, perhaps when you were much younger, when you heard your favourite kind of music for the first time or when you discovered your favourite comedians for the first time? What if someone had lived their life never having any of those joyful experiences and then suddenly had them all at once?
And so we came up with the central idea for Jaffle Inc, that Alice, our heroine, has spent her entire life, up to now, on “Jaffle standard” which means that she does not have access to the parts of her brain that we all take for granted. When she accidentally gains access to these things, she is very much a fish out of water in trying to understand what’s happening, which is great for some comedy scenes. The real peril comes later when she uncovers a plot that will affect all Jaffle users. Can she possibly succeed in taking on a global corporation who have the power to turn people’s brains off if they pose a threat?
Thank you, Heide Goody and Random Things Tours.
About the authors
Heide has been co-writing with Iain Grant for several years now.
The Clovenhoof Satan-in-suburbia comedy series goes from strength to strength, check it out!
You might also enjoy the Oddjobs series, especially if you’ve ever had a terrible job.
Don’t forget to look at the standalone novels too, there are some gems in there.
3 Fun facts about Heide and Iain*:
Heide and Iain are writers in residence of a Warwickshire phone box
Heide and Iain were commissioned to write an Adrian Mole story to celebrate the character’s 50th birthday.
Heide and Iain operate a premium line phone service where they will read stories to your pets when you’re on holiday
* One of these is untrue
Heide lives in North Warwickshire, England with her husband and children.
Iain Grant is a writer of comedy fiction and fantasy.
He is, with Heide Goody, the author of numerous comedy novels, including the ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job in hell and is forced to live in suburban England). They are also co-authors of the increasingly popular ‘Oddjobs’ comedy series.
Social Media Links
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaffle-Inc-Heide-Goody-ebook/dp/B07WWNT61T/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=2L57KL30NLX1R&keywords=jaffle+inc&qid=1568534072&s=digital-text&sprefix=jaffle+inc%2Cdigital-text%2C173&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzNURCWUxTQUhWUzBVJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDc0ODk5MTBXRE5HWVlQTUFCVyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjE4NzE1T0sxVFFOVDRJSURRJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==