This is the working title of my major project for this year. Rather grandiose, I’m sure you will agree. But then it is turning into quite a monumental project, by all accounts. What started off as a commission to write one novel has now turned into what looks most likely to be a trilogy which will interweave a complex range of political and economic ideologies, presented as a lighthearted romp which can be enjoyed by a wide readership. I know, I know – it doesn’t sound like my usual style of a thigh-slapping knees-up with the main focus being on cups of tea and mysterious chaps in hats. There are some difficult and challenging concepts involved and the subject matter is verging on dystopian. But somehow I have to fuse the two into a jolly jape which exposes the dark machinations running our political classes and, ultimately, the world.
The first problem is that I don’t know anything about the dark machinations running the world. Luckily, I have on hand a leading Professor from a top university who understands all about this sort of thing and is kindly putting in many hours of personal tutoring to bring me up to speed on the governmental underworld, starting with the political and economic history of the UK since the Battle of Waterloo. It is a privilege and and unexpected opportunity to receive such eminent instruction, but I won’t pretend it isn’t a bit heavy going at times. Bloody interesting, though. Not to mention the fact that the irony of my situation is not lost on me – I have gone from mocking the academic elite to working alongside them.
Academic excellence is achieved through smoking a lot of cigars, apparently
And that’s not all. Over the coming weeks and months I will be meeting with other notable characters (journalists, investigators, Prime Ministerial speechwriters and people whose exact jobs I will probably never discover) who will each lead me a little further down the rabbit hole, in the hope I can produce something revelatory in the form of accessible fiction. Although I am hoping to get a few good lunches out of it, I am, in truth, a little on edge about the whole matter.
Somehow, the worst of it is the constant reassurance of the guaranteed publicity and exposure the book(s) will receive. Whilst usually this would be any author’s dream, the subject matter and my natural inclination towards introversion makes me nervous.
But, then again, it presents opportunities for shenanigans and comfort zones have always been overrated, in my opinion. And there will definitely be some good lunches. What could possibly go wrong?
On top of all that, I will soon have exciting updates for PorterGirl – Sinister Dexter and Who Shot Tony Blair?, all of which means I find myself continually occupied at the present moment. These are tough times. Please send wine.