Monday, December 13, 2021

Habitat Man by D.A. Baden - Book Tour

Habitat Man

Worms have more purpose than Tim, and a better love life. They break waste down into rich fertile soil; Tim just makes the rich richer. Worms copulate for three hours at a time whereas the closest thing Tim has to love is his lesbian friend Jo. Salvation comes from Jo’s flaky niece Charlotte who asks him three profound questions. Inspired, he sheds his old life to become Habitat Man, giving advice on how to turn gardens into habitats for wildlife. His first client is the lovely Lori. Tim is smitten, but first he has to win round Ethan her teenage son. Tim loves his new life until he digs up more than he bargained for, something that threatens to bring out all the skeletons in his cupboard.


“Habitat Man is both great fun (with such an engaging cast of characters) and a delightful reflection on the ways we live – and the ways we die! – at a time when more and more people are grappling with today’s environmental challenges.” Jonathon Porritt (Forum for the Future).

“Truly lyrical and a joy to read” Mark Laggatt, author.

“A natural storyteller”

“Superbly written romance with a lovely touch of humour” Helen Baggott, author.

“A charming romp that makes you think! Mid-life crisis meets environmental awareness in this rom-com for the 21st Century.” Michael Jecks, author.

“A tale of lust, gardening, love and compost: a hilarious page turner”
Dave Goulson, author of ‘The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet’ and the newly released ‘Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse.’

Purchase Link -

Chapter 5 Polyamorist extract
CONTEXT: Tim is rat-proofing a compost bin in Highfield by putting it on a flat surface

 I peered in the compost bin satisfied, and amazed, as always, by the chemistry that translates grass cuttings and food waste into rich, earthy soil that nourishes the garden. And it was all down to the humble earthworm. If I were ever to write a poem, it would be to the worm that aerates and enriches the earth. Its tunnels of air, castings and water, weaving a life-giving magic. Its slimy undulations turning the waste of the world and plain mud into rich, textured soil, food from which the roses can grow. The humble worm! I replaced the lid and raised my arms above my head to stretch, then brought them slowly down, breathing in the invigorating autumn air. I dreamt of a world where we award this humble worm all the respect it deserves. I had a brief mental image of the worm with a medal round its neck, nodding modestly to the applause.

Pleased with this vision and my work, I trudged up the garden feeling the pain in my back from the bending and shovelling. It was lovely working outdoors, but I wouldn’t want to be a gardener. I rotated my hips clockwise and then anticlockwise to ease out the kinks. I gazed up to stretch my neck and noticed a net curtain twitch in the bedroom. Was I imagining that eyes were upon me?

I walked up to the back door. ‘Hello!’ I ventured. No answer. I took off my boots and stepped into the kitchen. I was desperate to wash my hands, but the sink was full of washing up.

I heard a television on upstairs. Who else lived here? Did Dawn had a husband or family? Jo had berated me for thinking of people as hazards, but after so many years dealing with numbers, I was finding it strange being in other people’s homes.

I walked up to the bottom of the stairs. ‘Hello! Er, Dawn!’

An upstairs door opened and the television was heard more clearly. Dawn’s face appeared.

‘Hi, Dawn, I’m done, can I wash my hands?’

‘Of course, hun, up here, the bathroom’s on the left.’

I hastened up the stairs and into the bathroom to wash my hands. I emerged, and jumped in shock as a piercing scream came from the bedroom. Dawn was standing in the doorway unperturbed.

‘Kerry and I like to snuggle up in bed and watch an Agatha Christie.’

I nodded, heart still racing from the unexpected scream. I could hear Miss Marple in the background. ‘You are in dire peril, my dear.’ Dawn was still standing there, gazing at me steadily with that glint in her eye.

‘Has the Wizard been in touch?’


‘From Woolston.’

‘I’ve had a Geoff from Woolston.’

‘That’s him. Tell him I said “blessed be”.’

Oh my days! He wanted bats and frogs. What was he planning on doing with them? I remembered that one of the collective nouns for bats was a cauldron of bats. My wild imaginings were brought to a sudden halt by her next question.

‘Fancy coming in to play?’

Play? Monopoly? Scrabble?

‘Me and Kerry have been watching you and we think you’re sexy.’

So I hadn’t imagined the glint. The question crossed my mind whether Kerry was a male or female. Best not to ask in case she took it as interest.

I looked at my watch. Why did I do that? Now she’s going to think it depends on how much time I have. I was paralysed. This was definitely one to tell Jo. What better example of potential hazards was there? Although, I already could hear the response ‘what’s so hazardous about someone wanting you to join in a threesome!’ Frantic sounds from the television ended my paralysis. ‘You had better get away from here as fast as you can!’ urged Miss Marple. I took her advice and ran.

Author Bio – Denise Baden is Professor of Sustainability at the University of Southampton and has published numerous book chapters and articles in the academic realm. She wrote the script for a musical that was performed in Southampton and London in 2016, and has written three other screenplays. This is her first novel. Habitat Man was inspired by a real-life green garden consultant who helped make her garden more wildlife friendly. Denise set up the series of free Green Stories writing competitions in 2018 to inspire writers to integrate green solutions into their writing ( Habitat Man began as an effort to showcase what a solution-based approach might look like, and then took on a life of its own. In between teaching and research, she is now working on the sequel.


Social Media Links – @DABadenauthor,

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