The pigtails and Alice band caught my attention first. I’m not sure why but I thought them an odd conceit for someone well beyond primary school. She spotted me as I spotted her, both of us stamping our feet to keep out the cold of December in San Francisco. I was waiting for my family to emerge, beladen, from Macy’s; she was rattling a tin to raise money for a soup kitchen. She smiled, the perfect advert for American orthodontistry. I dug out five bucks and we chatted. She told me she was coming to England the following summer, to London. ‘If we bump in to each other,’ she said, ‘I’ll buy you a coffee and you can tell me the best sights.’
We never did meet again but, I pondered, what if we had? And what if such ‘chance’ meeting turned out to be anything but? That five minute interaction was the start of my upcoming book, My Father and Other Liars.
Many other things influenced the story line: the Oral Roberts scandal gave rise to the creation of the Beaumont University and its evangelical funders at the Church of Science and Development; the US Government’s variable attitude to funding the use of human embryos discarded from IVF in genetic research and the speculation around both finding an artificial replacement and the possibility of illegal usage gave rise to the scandals that envelop the Beaumont University’s Life Sciences department; a late night discussion on the impact, often subliminal fathers have on their offspring gave me the idea to explore how this impact can have far reaching, often unintended consequences.
Put these ingredients into the melting pot of my imagination and a new thriller is born.
When British freelancer Maurice Oldham saves American scientist Lori-Ann Beaumont from a pack of journalists at a ProLife conference in San Francisco, neither expects to see the other again.
But six months on, Lori-Ann is on Maurice’s doorstep, bruised, penniless and desperate to find her boyfriend, Peterson, who has gone missing in England. Maurice soon realises nothing is as it seems with Lori-Ann.
Why is she chasing Peterson; why has her father, Pastor of the Church of Science and Development sent people to bring her home; what is behind the Federal Agency who is investigating Lori-Ann’s workplace in connection with its use of human embryos; and what happened in Nicaragua a quarter of a century ago that is echoing down the years?
For Maurice and Lori-Ann the answers lie somewhere in their Fathers’ pasts. Finding those answers will take Lori-Ann and Maurice from England via America to Nicaragua; in so doing they will have to confront some uncomfortable truths about their Fathers and learn some surprising things about themselves.
My Father and Other Liars will be available on the 31st July.
This will be the second book I have published. Self-published. I am unashamedly an indie author. Until I began blogging in 2014, having written my first novel length piece – a heap of dodo’s do-dos but you need to start somewhere – in 2006, my attitude to publication was much the same as my attitude to dieting: it sounds like a neat idea but I’d have to give up too much to make it work and even then it was unlikely to be a success.
That was because I had only really thought about the trad route. Reading bloggers opened my eyes to two things.
First indie publishing was both relatively straight forward and not vanity publishing; second indie publishing might well cure a terrible disease that had afflicted me, worse for me than writer’s block or procrastination-itis: tinkering-osis.
So I found an editor to eradicate my hapless typos and cartoon grammar, bent the arm of my nephew to draw me a cover and learnt a lot about formatting from Word to Kindle and Createspace.
In October last year, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle took to the ether.
It’s summer 1976 and hotter than Hades.
Harry Spittle, nineteen, is back from University, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. But things start to unravel as his parents’ marriage implodes.
Harry’s problems mount with the appearance of old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopath son Claude and couragish wife Monica.
Before Harry knows it he’s in debt up to his ears, being stabbed and dealing in drugs. His job is unravelling, his sister is in trouble and he’s sure he has discovered a family secret that might destroy him.
Can he survive to see out the summer?
To do so he will have to confront his worst fears as well as confront the local criminal mastermind.
Oh and he still hopes to get laid…
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