Up and down the country, Tories are rubbing their hands together with glee whilst Labour MPs (increasingly becoming an endangered species) are standing precariously on railway bridges, wondering where it all went wrong. Meanwhile, their brave and fearless leader, Jeremy Corbyn, sits at home cheerfully weaving a basket whilst mumbling incoherently at a papier mache bust of Ken Livingstone. His exasperated wife pops her head round the door.
“Sshh, dear, I am conversing with Ken.” Jeremy looks up from his basket only briefly. “Please excuse Laura, Ken.”
“Jeremy, you’ve been weaving all morning,” says Laura. “Will you at least have a little something to eat?”
“Is there any of my homemade jam left?” inquires Jezza. “Perhaps some jam and scones.”
“That jam has gone off,” Laura replies. “It’ll give you the trots.”
“Oh, but we love the Trots!” Jezza turns to the bust on his desk. “Don’t we, Ken?”
“Look, dear, I really think you ought to put down that basket and get to work. There’s the general election to think about and the party is in disarray…”
“I’m not going anywhere!” Jezza retorts, defiantly. Laura sighs.
“Yes, I know, dear, we all know.”
“No, no – I mean I’m really not going anywhere. Lucy Brazier is due to make an announcement soon about the release of her new book, PorterGirl – The Vanishing Lord and I don’t want to miss it.”
“She writes about a great British institution that is lead by out-of-touch old crusties who contumaciously adhere to obsolete and dated ideas and practices, regardless of what the rest of the world think and societal progress. Fancy that!”
Laura sighs again.
“Yes, Jeremy. Just fancy that.”
It is Monday evening and I have just signed off on the manuscript for PorterGirl : The Vanishing Lord – which means I have read through and approved the final edit and all I have to look forward to now is the eternal joys of marketing, promotion and banal interviews about where I get my inspiration and other such things that no one is really interested in but, for some reason, is the polite staple of the author interview circuit and is something I mean to challenge when I become revered enough for anyone to care about my opinion on such things.
Except that isn’t all I have to look forward to. I have the next Poirot parody all mapped out and ready to go; a plot that I hope would make dear Dame Agatha if not proud, then at least not turn in her grave. It is true that the next series of Who Shot Tony Blair? has hit a stumbling block in that the satirical plot I had envisaged is now frighteningly unraveling itself in real life and suddenly seems in very bad taste, so a rethink is in order.
But never mind that. Less than an hour from officially signing off on The Vanishing Lord, I have started on the next PorterGirl novel.
Is it a sick compulsion? Or self-indulgent profligacy?
The thing is – I just know how it goes. At least, in essence. And I had a great opening paragraph, that turned into a great opening chapter. And the end of the other book sets it all up perfectly. Not only that, the ending is great.
Also, I have a natural inclination for ‘threes’. I eat chocolates in batches of three (alright, three at a time). I drink glasses of wine in multiples of three (don’t judge me). Releasing two books feels a bit flaky. Three books is better. Trilogies are easy to market. Probably.
Self-justification is irrelevant at this point, as I am now, at the time of writing, (20:49 Monday 1st May 2017) 2000 words in and don’t intend to stop now. With teeth-grinding irritation, I realise that at some point I changed from someone who writes, into a writer -and that doesn’t sit well with me at all.
But that is what I am. And that is what I shall do.
PorterGirl : Sinister Dexter here we come.