A few years ago, I was approached by a few people* who said, “You know what, Gary, your columns really are top-drawer, but they’re only ever 750 words long. What you need to do is write a novel featuring the same sort of character who appears in your columns. I bet you it would be really successful.”
These people were mistaken in several ways, but the two errors I’d like to focus on at this point are: a) The character who appears in my columns is not a work of fiction. I am he. It’s all true; and b) it would not be really successful.
Of course, it was only after I had written such a novel and tried to flog it for a year that the point I made under b) above became clear. I do not know if you are aware of this, but novels take some time to write, unless you’re one of those successful American airport fiction novelists who can pass on their work to a farm of typists, and when I had finished it the market had changed. Apparently we’ve all heard quite enough from middle-aged white men. WHEN, OH, WHEN WILL MIDDLE-AGED WHITE MEN BREAK THE GLASS CEILING?!
Anyway, the point is that there’s a novel sitting on my laptop, and I’m never going to make any money out of it. And if you are – or were – a regular reader of my long-running column, you’re more likely than most to be interested in reading it.
So, seeing as we’re all cooped up indoors for the foreseeable, and unless somebody talks me out of it, I’m going to release a chapter a day from tomorrow (Friday, March 27, 2020) until it’s finished. It won’t see you through the entire lock-down, but it might keep you diverted for 15-20 minutes a day.
It’s called The Untimely Death Of Jerzy Gruszka, and I’ll link to the first chapter here.
*Real people, not people I have invented to make me look good.