Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The weekend: what's yours for?

Don’t you just love weekends? Time to slow the pace a little, relax in the bath with an ebook? Caroline and I often end up having a row on Friday night, the accumulated tension of the working week boiling up into a tornado of misunderstanding. But by Saturday morning, everything’s fine again. We both have a large capacity for forgiveness, which is just as well after the scrapes Caroline got into when setting up a new office for her company in Germany.

It is a timely story, an insight into a behind the scenes world of politics and finance. I just had to collect the evidence and write it down. A small indiscretion with work colleagues in Spain had brought my wife to the attention of Melody Bigger, former chief executive of a medical instruments company and part-time Madame. Melody had an old score to settle with a banker, Von Wolfswinkle. She tricked Caroline into attending Wolfswinkle’s weekend sex parties, a private relaxation for hard working financiers and politicians.

It was quite an education for Caroline, but understandably she was reluctant to give me the details of her initiation into the Inner Circle. In the end I had to rescue her from a sex club in Copenhagen. I’m a lawyer, and it was satisfying to do some investigative work to uncover the honey trap plot. That Melody Bigger is, as the Americans say, ‘a piece of work’.

People ask, ‘How did you come up with the story?’ The plot was taken from life, and marriage gave me the character of Caroline. The book gives some insight of the pressures many face in trying to balance the competing demands of work and marriage. But if you can laugh while chaos threatens to derail your life, then you’ll probably enjoy Shameless Ambition

I don’t like the idea of being pigeon-holed into a genre or sub-genre. How many times do you read a ‘blurb’ after finishing a book and think, ‘no, that’s not the book I read?’ Perhaps I also wonder about the word ‘romantic’ in relation to the gritty world we experience and to which I try to be true. But romance is story, and it is all for love, even though sometimes we misread the signals. A genre label is a helpful signpost, giving the potential reader a shortcut or a health warning – ‘may contain sexy scenes.’

In the end, all that matters is good writing. Good writing makes good reading. There is something real, an underlying truth, in well written fantasy, however outrageous it may seem; and there’s nearly always something wonderful and fantastic in the real things that happen in our lives. That’s why we all have stories to tell, and why I spend my weekends writing.

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Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.