Saturday, 9 January 2016

Why I'm not feeling the January blues - much

Traditionally January is the most depressing month. Christmas is done with and the weather's still crap but without the twinkly lights and the presents (unless you've got a birthday in January like some I know - bad timing, people!), you may be feeling a bit more podgy than you did a month before and you've already broken your new year's resolution not to eat so much cake. In years gone by I've felt the same, that festive lethargy still in your mindset but that little bit more gloomy as the first of the train delays leave you freezing on the station platform at 7am. But this year I have a gift: that being Jeremy Corbyn and the current state of the Labour Party.

True, it's terrible for democracy, an Opposition ripping itself apart, navel-gazing while the Government can relax at being pretty much unopposed for the foreseeable future. But, for me and my writing, Corbyn's time - however long or short - at Labour's helm are more literary ideas and inspiration in the bank for book three of my trilogy.

When I published my second book in 2014, Power Play, I knew it was a ridiculous notion. A radical leader with dangerous views taking over a political party, alienating the moderates (i.e. those with a more pragmatic approach to philosophy and policy), sending most of them to the back benches where they plot to overthrow said leader before he rips their beloved party apart. They are terrified of de-selection (the leadership throwing them out of their seat by the next General Election), hiding in the shadows, talking of splitting from the leader and his fundamental beliefs. The only difference being (apart from being Right rather than Left, although the two are one of the same in extremes) is that my fictional leader, Colin Scott, along with his 'henchmen' (and women), has an iron grip on his party and nobody would dare speak out against him in public. He has a real thirst for power, whereas it's quite clear Corbyn does not.

Nevertheless, when Corbyn was elected last year, I thought Arghhh!  I'll need a disclaimer! but then, while the botched reshuffle went on (and on) this week and I tweeted about my own 'revenge reshuffle' in Power Play (perhaps Corbyn should give it a read and see how it should really be done), I thought: this is amazing. Along with the fall of UKIP and the disappearance of the BNP (also in Power Play) I've predicted the beginning of the end for the partisan system in the UK. Well, not quite...but if I don't laugh about the similarities I would probably cry. Then laugh again.

So, while I'm now making more progress with End Game, the final book, the pressure's on to get ahead of the game (no pun intended) throughout 2016 and write things before they happen in real life. Sure, as Jeffrey Archer once said, truth can be stranger than fiction, but what if it's the same? It's a conundrum I'll have fun with and despair over during the coming months. And I can't wait.

Both Party Games (book 1) and Power Play (book 2) are now 99p each on Amazon.

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