This music lark is a delight. I mean, at my age, to discover one's writing seems to work in a completely new context is just so thrilling. To have a bunch of superb musicians willing to make me look good is staggering. And then to find that the notoriously fickle public are actually prepared to part with money to listen to us is the cherry on the proverbial icing on the jolly cake. I feel like a kid again! And believe me, it's a very long time since I really was. So long, in fact, that I struggle to remember who was on the throne at the time. Vague recollections of bedtime stories of a failed rebellion in Scotland but that's as far as it goes…Sorry, I digress.
Well, after Spain we had a big conflab about the planned Traycer Band LP, sorry, I mean album. Apparently the first two singles sold well enough for Goldstar to give us the backing for a full studio session and it's all due to kick off in August! We have about six songs lined up, ideas for another three and no idea about the rest. It's a while off yet but it'll come round soon enough so we need some serious creative juice-flowing to happen pretty soon.
I like to keep a few irons in the fire so at the same time I'm talking to my publisher about the next book. After an epic historical fantasy series like Rider of the Ages I decided to dial back the mythological / extra-terrestrial / sci-fi element but still run a little wild with some what-if history rewrites. The classic example is “What if the Nazis had won the war?”, and it's been done a few times. So I'm trying to be somewhat more subtle but no less surprising.
Naturally I'm only at outline stage and haven't even signed a deal yet, but I wondered whether I could do a bit of the modern “focus group” thing and offer a little taster for your considered opinion? Good. Bearing in mind, then, that the finished product may quite possibly bear absolutely no resemblance, here for your delectation is the possible blurb for the forthcoming Solomon W. Traycer novel, A Kingdom Divided:
In a post-war Britain where Churchill was re-elected and Ulster stands on the brink of leaving the UK to create a united Ireland, the Prime Minister enjoys a surprisingly warm relationship with Soviet Russia's Josef Stalin. Unbeknown to the PM, Stalin's agents are behind a resurgence in Scottish and Welsh nationalism creating unrest and pressure for independence. Angered by the UK's cosying up to the USSR, the USA threatens Churchill with a trade embargo.
Why is the British PM so willing to co-operate with Stalin, and what does the USSR hope to gain by destabilising the UK? Top civil servants, horrified at the turn of events, send out secret cries for help to other countries. Secret Service agents are staggered to receive a reply from a most surprising source – disgraced Nazi Rudolf Hess. Under the guise of a trade mission, agent Sammy White arranges to meet Hess in a secret location in Berlin…
So there you go. Does it grab you? Would you want to read it? I'd be awfully grateful for your thoughts.
Why is the British PM so willing to co-operate with Stalin, and what does the USSR hope to gain by destabilising the UK?
(Feel free to use the comment thingy below, or if you're an old-fashioned soul at heart you can write to me c/o my agent, Shackleton Promotions, 3rd Floor, Blackstone Building, Heath Lane, Bath, BA32 7JH.)