Fat Chance by A B Morgan, out today on Kindle at a criminally low 99p
I’m smiling because it’s publication day!
I have an irrepressible sense of humour and therefore, despite the thought provoking subject matter of the books I write, there is always something to make the reader grin and on occasion to laugh aloud. Suspense is all very well but readers need a break from the tension now and again.
So, as the country heads for uncertainty and Teresa May’s Brexit plan seems destined for the recycle bin of parliamentary history, grab a copy of Fat Chance (Kindle or paperback via Amazon) and snuggle up. Inside the shiny cover you will meet Ella Fitzwilliam, she’s about to get herself into a proper pickle.
What is the book about? here’s the blurb:
A missing barrister, a severed thumb and fat chance of finding out the truth.
Ella Fitzwilliam’s world is about to spiral out of control. She’s not cut out to be a private investigator. With little or no aptitude for the job, she’s been sent undercover to expose the hidden lives of two men who meet nearly every week at Buxham’s – a private members’ club where portions are large and secrets are held in strictest confidence.
One of those men is Harry Drysdale, a defence barrister, and the other is Marcus Carver, an eminent surgeon with a tarnished past and much to lose. Ella knows he has unhealthy appetites, she’s sure he’s feeding his perverted habits and putting his female patients at risk but she has to prove it.
When Harry Drysdale goes missing, Konrad Neale TV journalist tries to reveal the truth behind the lies, but some of the secrets start to reveal themselves… and they are big.
Thanks to all at Junction Publishing, #JunctionPublish for bringing the story to life. Happy Book Birthday.
‘My name is Barney Ribble, my given name is Kevin but no one ever calls me that. I exist only inside the imagination of Alison Morgan and on the pages of two books, so far. I’m not the main character, but I still matter and if you don’t open those books then I fade away into the distant memory of everyone who once read about me.
Not only do I cease to live, but my mates, and my sense of humour all lie hidden, waiting for you to breathe life into us again. Fair enough I swear a bit, but apart from that there’s nothing to dislike. Now my old mucka Konrad Neale, he’s a different case in point. The flash git has got himself into a spot of bother a time or two and no mistake. Check out The Camera Lies, you’ll see what I mean. Bloody hell. Psychopath central. What she wasn’t capable of isn’t worth mentioning!
Then get your nose into a copy of Stench. When I try to help young Rory Norton because everyone thinks he’s killed the woman they found under his floorboards, I ask for Konrad’s help but no … he manages to make matters worse.
Next? You’ll have to wait until January. Of course I know what happens in Fat Chance, but I’m not telling you. I’ll remind you nearer the time, how about that?
I shouted at the radio in my car yesterday. Depeche Mode were playing and I was singing along as I drove to the nearest supermarket, forced into a shopping trip because of severely depleted supplies.
‘Words are very unnecessary. They can only do harm …’
I hadn’t paid much attention to the lyrics of this particular song before and I was cross at the insinuation. ‘What crap,’ I said to the windscreen. Then I took the time to listen to the full chorus and, all at once, felt a sense of deep shame at having misunderstood. Taken out of context, the words I had focussed on sent a negative message, but listen to the full lyrics of Enjoy the Silence and it is a beautiful song about the power of touch.
When I reached the supermarket the song was firmly stuck in my head as I wheeled the trolley through to the checkout. I was humming away as I packed the bags, only stopping to laugh aloud as I read another set of words which I immediately took out of context because of the way they were written.
A piece of cardboard had been attached to the security posts at the exit. It had been handwritten in bold, black, marker-pen with the words-
BASKETS ARE NOT ALLOWED OUTSIDE
My strange writing brain engaged gear and, as I finished reading, was already wondering at the inequality between being a basket and being a trolley. Trolleys had it good. They could go outside. Obviously a couple of baskets had decided to make a run for it and the basket police had taken remedial action without waiting for head office approval.
I sang as I walked back to my car, ‘Words are very unnecessary. They can only do harm.’ Especially if you happen to be a basket in a supermarket.
What lesson did I learn? For writers and readers alike, context is important.
I dragged my poor unsuspecting mother along to her first literary festival on Saturday, and she loved it! BeaconLit Festival has been running since 2013 and this year attracted such authors as Carole Matthews, Louise Jensen, Tony Klinger and the highly entertaining double act of Mark Billingham in conversation with Martyn Waites – both of whom also have a background in stand up comedy and goodness me did it show. My sense of humour too …
The author panels were lively, informative and positive, giving voice to newer authors as well as seasoned bestsellers. What made it all the more enjoyable was being able to chat to other authors, writers and avid readers in a relaxed atmosphere and to join in a creative writing workshop run by Morgen Bailey, editor, author, literary judge and a woman with more energy than the Duracell bunny.
What golden nugget of wisdom did I glean from the day?
That I am not as mad as I thought. “Hurrah!”
Lousie Jensen admitted to having no idea where her plots would take her – me too. Mark Billingham asserted that, like me, he is constantly thinking of ideas for the next book and will vacuum up interesting anecdotes pocketing them for later use. His sidekick Martyn Waites confirmed that it’s perfectly reasonable to consider musings and imaginings as working, as long as the ideas make it to the page in one way or another. So going to the pub is research.
As well as accepting that we all seem to be kings and queens of procrastination at times, I also learnt that those of us who write crime thrillers are untrustworthy and devious people watchers always on the lookout for a story, a juicy tale, an unusual titbit or a twisted perspective on a simple situation. Perfectly normal.
I’m just polishing the manuscript for book number five and the good news is that today I have also been working on the next idea for a story. I did this while cleaning the bathroom. I was talking to myself a lot, pretending to be in conversation with the dog, of course. Yes … I am working.
Do we explore these stories for the same reason we enjoy reading crime thriller fiction or watching scary films? If that’s your sort of book then try: A Justifiable Madness
Imagine what might happen if Nellie Bly or David Rosenhan repeated their experiment today? Those of us who have worked within Mental Health Services have an unusual perspective and personal insight into what it’s like to need support and treatment for mental illness and sometimes fiction is a powerful tool in raising awareness.
Whose turn is it to shake up mental health services?